The Oakland Raiders have battles brewing all over the 90 man roster this off-season. A step-up from year’s past, and a trend in the right direction. Below is my prediction on how the 53 man roster will shake out after the release of the first unofficial depth chart. The roster will be updated after each game this preseason.
Starter, Derek Carr – The obvious choice here, even with the rumors this off-season, Carr was the obvious 2019 starter all along.
Backup, Nathan Peterman – The backup competition at QB between Glennon and Peterman is underwhelming, but I see Peterman being the choice. He’s a little more athletic than Glennon, which I think gives him the edge.
Starter, Josh Jacobs – Jacobs is clearly the most talented back on the roster. He will see a committee early but I see him running away with the snap share fairly early.
Backup, Doug Martin – Martin was very underrated last year, and offers a good backup in case of a Jacobs injury.
3rd Down Back, Jalen Richard – Expect to see a lot of two back formations with Richard involved. He can line up anywhere on the field and be a weapon for Gruden.
Starter, Alec Ingold – Unfortunately for Keith Smith, Ingold has come in ready to compete. With Smith out, Ingold looks poised to take the spot.
Starter, Antonio Brown – Not much analysis needed here. Brown and his feet create the best player on this roster.
Starter, Tyrell Williams – A huge free agent splash, Williams looks the part through camp so far. Brown on the other side look for a huge year from Williams.
Slot, Hunter Renfrow – The rookie out of Clemson beats out Ryan Grant for slot reps. Gruden seems to love this kid, and his work ethic will help him stay on the field.
Backup, J.J. Nelson – The primary WR backup, Nelson will win a spot with his speed, that he’s shown in camp so far.
Backup, Marcell Ateman – This one is a bit of a shocker. However, he knows Gruden’s system well, and is a huge red zone threat.
Backup/Special Teams, Dwayne Harris – Harris is a virtual lock, although he doesn’t offer much on offense, he’s the most dynamic returner on the 90-man roster.
Starter, Darren Waller – The huge, fast, wide receiver turned tight end, is in for the starting role. Gruden loves his athleticism, and it seems like this is as safe a roster lock as they come.
Blocking TE, Luke Wilson – Not a lock by any means, but Gruden loves tight ends and likes to carry four or more. Wilson should win the primary blocking job from rookie Foster Moreau.
Backup, Foster Moreau – Moreau looks raw, and may need some time to learn. He’s going to make the team, but as a reserve for the time being.
Backup, Derek Carrier – Carrier is a decent pass catcher, who could make the team as Waller’s primary backup in passing situations.
Left Tackle, Kolton Miller – Kolton Miller had a really rough rookie year. He is locked in as the team’s starting LT, and looks to bounce back. So far, he’s seemed to make strides in training camp.
Right Tackle, Trent Brown – The highest paid tackle in the NFL looks to be the anchor of the OL. He’s a gigantic human, with All-Pro potential, and seems to be taking on a leadership role for the Raiders.
Backup, Brandon Parker – Probably the worst 2018 draft pick. Parker doesn’t look like he’s a capable pro tackle. Since he was a 3rd round pick, he will be the primary backup at tackle, but he needs to improve in a big way.
Backup, David Sharpe – Kept as the 4th tackle, hopefully the Raiders don’t get to that point.
Interior Offensive Line
Center, Rodney Hudson – Another no-brained, the only question with Hudson is when will Oakland extend his contract.
Left Guard, Richie Incognito (2 game suspension) – Incognito is back in the NFL and a roster lock, he is the starter but not until Week 3 due to suspension. He looks in shape, and healthy which is great for the Raiders.
Right Guard, Gabe Jackson – Gabe is entering Year 6, and is locked in as your right guard once again when and if, he returns.
Backup, Denzell Good (Until Incognito returns or PUP) – Good could start if He’s healthy Week 1. When he is healthy he is the primary backup at both guard positions.
Backup, Jonathan Cooper – Depth piece on the line, the former first round pick is looking to solidify his roster spot the next few weeks.
Backup, Jordan Devey – Coming over from Kansas City, Devey is a backup at all three interior line positions. He replaces Feliciano in that role.
Starter, Clelin Ferrell – The rookie out of Clemson is a starter. Oakland needs him to skip the rookie hiccups and produce right away if they want any shot at the playoffs.
Starter, Josh Mauro – Not a splashy guy, but he’s solid against the run, and an absolute Gruden grinder.
Backup, Arden Key – This is the role they drafted Key for, and he will need to produce 7-9 sacks this year if he wants to be a big part of the future.
Backup, Benson Mayowa – Thought they might cut him, Gruden did stress all off-season how they want a good mix of rookies and veterans on the team.
Backup, Maxx Crosby – Maxx will quickly rise up the depth chart, but the Raiders are going to ease him in a bit. He can quickly take over the DE2 position if he produces when given the snaps.
Starter, Jonathan Hankins – Pegged as the most improved player on the team, he’s earned a spot in the initial starting lineup.
Starter, Maurice Hurst – Although the current depth chart has him behind Ellis, I don’t think they keep their best defensive lineman off the field much. Hurst had a great rookie season with 5.0 sacks and he looks to double that this season.
Backup, P.J Hall – Hall is another pick that needs to develop. He’s the backup right now, and has a lot of work to do.
Backup, Justin “Jelly” Ellis – Coming off injury, Ellis won’t be cut, but I expect him to lose snaps to the younger guys.
MLB Starter, Vontaze Burfict – Brought in to run Guenther’s defense, Burfict is pretty much guaranteed a spot. He will be your starting MLB.
WLB Starter, Brandon Marshall – I could see Marshall losing out to a younger linebacker, but right now he is the starting WLB.
SLB Starter, Tahir Whitehead – Another guy I thought was underrated last year, Whitehead started slow, but really took over as a leader on defense last year.
Backup, Marquel Lee – One of the few Reggie McKenzie guys left, I expect Lee to make the team and contribute a ton this season.
Backup, Jason Cabinda – Cabinda is the guy that could bump a veteran out of a starting role. He had a breakout rookie year and is poised to build off of that.
Backup, Nicholas Morrow – Arguably, the best cover linebacker on the roster, Morrow is the Raiders’ best shot to cover Kelce, Henry, and Fant this season.
Starter, Gareon Conley – Clearly the best corner on the team, Conley finally showed his first round pedigree last year. The Raiders hope for big things from him to help shore up this defense.
Starter, Daryl Worley – Worley is a guy I am very iffy on. He is still very young, but he is very inconsistent with his footwork and hips, hopefully he can lock down opposing teams #2 guys this year.
Slot Starter, Lamarcus Joyner – The Ex-Ram, is versatile and will play all over the field for Gruden. He might be the Raiders best defensive player in 2019.
Backup, Trayvon Mullen – The rookie out of Clemson could easily beat out Worley, and I expect him to surpass him by Week 6.
Backup, Nick Nelson – Nelson takes Lawson’s spot initially, due to the suspension. However, if Nelson doesn’t offer much the two may be swapped after Week 4.
Backup, Isaiah Johnson – One of my favorite picks from 2019, Johnson is a tall/lengthy corner. He looks the part of a Guenther defender but has a lot to learn before playing a vital role.
Backup- Nevin Lawson (4 game suspension)
Starter (SS), Karl Joseph – Many thought Joseph would be gone but he is entering year four as a Raider, and looks to salvage his career.
Starter (FS), Jonathan Abram – The Hard Knocks Star, is also a really good football player. Abram is a natural leader on a defense that lacked one all of 2018.
Backup, Erik Harris – Gruden loves this guy, and he is a hard working leader. He will be the primary backup at both safety positions.
Backup, Curtis Riley – Riley is a solid backup, but this roster spot is very fluid.
Kicker – Daniel Carlson
Punter-A.J Cole- Beats out Johnny Townsend and not sure it could get worse than Townsend.
Long Snapper-Andrew DePaola
Return Specialist-Dwayne Harris
Note- Incognito and Lawson do not count toward the initial 53, hence the 55 players listed above.