With training camp in full swing, let’s take a look at a 53-man Las Vegas Raiders roster prediction. First up is the offense.
The Raiders QB position and fullback are set heading into the 2020 season…
Quarterback: Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota
Derek Carr is entering his seventh season in the NFL but now has a legitimate backup for the first time in his career. Personally, I don’t believe this is an open competition like some fans want. Iron sharpens iron, so hopefully, this is the push that Carr needs to take the next step in his career, which is winning games.
Fullback: Alec Ingold
Ingold was a wonderful addition to Jon Gruden’s offense last year and was a huge upgrade over Keith Smith. He’ll have this position locked down for years. Even if the game is developing away from the traditional fullback.
What about the skill positions?
Running Back: Josh Jacobs, Lynn Bowden Jr., and Rod Smith
Josh Jacobs is the workhorse that the Raiders have lacked for years. However, what ailed the Raiders last year was not having legitimate options to relieve him and keep his legs fresh. Lynn Bowden Jr. a third-round pick should help. The electricity that Bowden provides makes Richard expendable, and I believe the Raiders lean toward a bigger back in Rod Smith to help round out the backfield.
Wide Receiver: Tyrell Williams, Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, Hunter Renfrow, Nelson Agohlor, and Zay Jones
The Raiders have again revamped their wide receiver group. It would appear that after the debacle that was 2019, the Raiders have solidified the position. More so than just solidified, it will be key that this new group produces at a high level. Ruggs, Edwards, and Renfrow give them a youthful dynamic trio that fans are salivating to see play together. By the same token, guys like Gafford and Doss are, unfortunately, on the outside looking in at this point.
Tight End: Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, Jason Witten, and Derek Carrier
This position group is pretty much locked in for the 2020 season. Waller is a top-five tight end right now. Meanwhile, the others all bring something different to compliment Gruden’s offense. Pass-blocking, reliable red zone help, and veteran depth will likely mean the Raiders keep the four tight ends going into the season.
The Raiders will see a battle for offensive line backup roles…
Offensive Line: Kolton Miller, Richie Incognito, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, Trent Brown, John Simpson, Denzelle Good, David Sharpe, Andre James, and Sam Young
By all accounts, this should be the year that the Raiders move on from the atrocious Brandon Parker. The addition of another Clemson product, John Simpson, makes this offensive line even stronger. The addition of the ex-Tigers guard also means the Silver and Black keep veteran Sam Young and second-year backup center, Andre James. The Raiders keep ten on their offensive line for now.
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*Top Photo: David Zalubowski/Associated Press