As Organized Team Activities wrap up across the NFL, there’s still a long way to go before final rosters are set for Week 1. Regardless, it’s always fun to guess what that final roster may look like. Take this one with a grain of salt for now, but here is what the Las Vegas Raiders’ 53 man roster would look like if the season started today.
Quarterback: Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, Nathan Peterman
While the first two in this position are obvious, expect Jon Gruden to keep three quarterbacks again in 2021. The third being the legendary Nathan Peterman. In all seriousness, Peterman owes Jon Gruden a lot. For whatever reason, Gruden loves Peterman and is likely the only coach willing to give him a job. Marcus Mariota will continue to provide reliability behind the incumbent, Derek Carr.
Running Back: Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, Trey Ragas, Alec Ingold
The only “surprise” here is the absence of Jalen Richard. Richard appears to have had his role taken with the addition of Kenyan Drake. Offering all the same abilities as a pass-catcher, Drake offers much more on the ground. Cutting Richard also saves the team $3.5 million against the cap. Trey Ragas is a UDFA who is a thickly built, powerful runner who the coaching staff is sure to love.
Wide Receiver: Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, Hunter Renfrow, John Brown, Dillon Stoner, Zay Jones
Another UDFA on the list, Dillon Stoner, will fight with Willie Snead for the backup slot job. More potential lies with Stoner so he gets the nod here. John Brown and Zay Jones offer encouraging veteran depth behind the two second-year starters.
Tight End: Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, Derek Carrier
The same group as last year minus Jason Witten, this position benefits from addition by subtraction. Not forcing Witten onto the field should do wonders for Foster Moreau as he looks to build upon a solid rookie season. Darren Waller will continue to shine this season.
Offensive Tackle: Kolton Miller, Alex Leatherwood, Brandon Parker, Sam Young
The Raiders lack depth along the edge of the offensive line. Behind the two young bookends, Brandon Parker and Sam Young both do little to inspire confidence if they were forced into action. Look for them to add to this position throughout the offseason.
Guard: Richie Incognito, Denzelle Good, John Simpson, Jarryd Jones-Smith
This group is held down by the returning Richie Incognito and Denzelle Good as they look to rebound from the loss of Gabe Jackson. Jarryd Jones-Smith is a favorite of Mike Mayock and provides positional versatility.
Center: Andre James, Jimmy Morrissey
While it is strange not seeing Rodney Hudson’s name here, Andre James has been steady in relief at times. Regardless, James has massive shoes to fill in 2021.
EDGE: Yannick Ngakoue, Clelin Ferrell, Maxx Crosby, Malcolm Koonce, Carl Nassib
A much-improved pass-rushing group is headlined by the Raiders’ biggest off-season addition. This position has loads of potential if used correctly by new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. The defense is counting on it.
Interior Defensive Line: Johnathan Hankins, Quinton Jefferson, Solomon Thomas, Kendal Vickers, Darius Stills
Another group with lots of turnover, Quinton Jefferson and Solomon Thomas will look to provide an interior pass rush that has been sorely lacking for the Silver and Black. Watch for Darius Stills to become a reliable contributor rather quickly.
Linebackers: Cory Littleton, Nick Kwiatkoski, Nicholas Morrow, Divine Deablo
The most athletic linebacker group the Raiders have had in years if it falls this way. Improvement from Cory Littleton can turn this group into a strength for the team. Stagnation from him will continue to make it a problem.
Cornerbacks: Casey Hayward, Trayvon Mullen, Damon Arnette, Nate Hobbs, Isaiah Johnson, Amik Robertson
The addition of Casey Hayward instantly brings legitimacy to a group that is beaming with potential. Featuring young talent in droves, the sky is really the limit with this position group and it should be lots of fun to watch in 2021.
Safeties: Trevon Moehrig, Johnathan Abram, Karl Joseph, Tyree Gillespie
Comfortably the most improved position on the Raiders roster, Gus Bradley has his hands all over this position group. Look for many three safety sets with Trevon Moehrig, Karl Joseph, and Johnathan Abram flying around the field.
Kicker: Daniel Carlson
Punter: A.J. Cole
Long Snapper: Trent Sieg
The same three as last season. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, and these three fill their roles well on the team. As far as kickers go, Daniel Carlson is one of the more underrated in the league.
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*Top Photo: Getty Images/Ethan Miller