The Las Vegas Raiders enter 2022 coming off a playoff appearance, something they have only done twice in two decades. Even so, they have a ton of new faces and a brand-new scheme. This training camp/preseason has shown a new level of competition within the organization, where nobody is safe. Here is how the Raiders’ 53-man roster may shake out.
Raiders 53-Man Roster: The Offense
Quarterback: Derek Carr, Jarrett Stidham (2)
Raiders fans should be jumping for joy. They have a coach who won’t keep a third quarterback for no reason. Derek Carr is cemented in as the starter, with a plethora of weapons to play with. Meanwhile, Jarrett Stidham makes for a good backup that knows McDaniel’s system. A good combo for the Raiders here.
Running Back/ Fullback: Josh Jacobs, Ameer Abdullah, Zamir White, Brandon Bolden, Jakob Johnson (5)
The Patriots are known for keeping a lot of backs in the fold. The semi-surprising release of veteran Kenyan Drake has solidified the outlook of the crowded backfield a bit more. Josh Jacobs should see the majority of the snaps, but rookie Zamir White will get a good chunk as well. Meanwhile, veterans Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah will see some of the third down work. Fullback Jakob Johnson was brought in by McDaniels and is also a lock to make the team.
Wide Receiver: Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, Tyron Johnson, Mack Hollins, Keelan Cole (5)
No shocker here. Hunter Renfrow and Davante Adams will make the final 53. After those two, it gets a bit murky. Will they keep six? The initial feeling is no. Although D.J. Turner is exciting, they have enough firepower in these five. Personally speaking, I think they’ll keep four tight ends instead. Keelan Cole and Tyron Johnson offer great play-making ability in backup roles.
Tight End: Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, Nick Bowers, Jacob Hollister (4)
Again, following the trends of Patriots roster management, it would not be shocking to see four bodies at tight end. Especially because they will be offering a ton of help to whoever plays right tackle on the blocking side of things. Also, Darren Waller will be used more in off-line areas of the game, allowing for a ton of two-tight end sets. As far as Jesper Horsted is concerned, Bowers and Hollister will barely edge him out here, but it wouldn’t shock me if he jumps one of them this week.
Offensive Line: Kolton Miller, John Simpson, Dylan Parham, Thayer Munford, Andre James, Lester Cotton Sr., Jermaine Eluemunor, Jackson Barton, Alex Bars (9)
The offensive line is very thin. Perhaps the weakest area on the roster, signs are pointing toward Alex Leatherwood, last year’s first round pick, being out. Although the nine names listed will be in the initial 53, I expect movement here. The Raiders can’t possibly go into the season with this group. When time permits, Brandon Parker may be shifted to injured reserve. He has been out for two weeks now.
Raiders 53-Man Roster: The Defense
Defensive End/Edge: Maxx Crosby, Malcolm Koonce, Chandler Jones, Tashawn Bower, Clelin Ferrell (5)
Due to the injuries of offseason acquisitions Jordan Jenkins and Kyler Fackrell, Clelin Ferrell will sneak onto the roster. The Raiders will start Crosby and Jones but rotate in Koonce and Bower, who both earned spots this summer. The Raiders have shown that they feel they need an upgrade here depth-wise, so don’t be shocked if they add a guy after cut down day. In this case, Bower or Ferrell would be out.
Defensive Tackle: Johnathan Hankins, Bilal Nichols, Kyle Peko, Andrew Billings, Neil Farell Jr, Matthew Butler (6)
Some had this as the Raiders’ weakest position coming in. However, they are getting healthier and have some depth here overall. I believe they will initially keep six here and maybe trim down later. They aren’t cutting Matthew Butler or Neil Farrell, but they aren’t going to get significant reps either.
Linebacker: Denzel Perryman, Divine Deablo, Jayon Brown, Luke Masterson (4)
Luke Masterson? You read that right. He beats out the field for the last linebacker spot. This is the best linebacker group that the Raiders have fielded in years.
Cornerback: Rock Ya-Sin, Nate Hobbs, Anthony Averett, Trayvon Mullen, Darius Phillips, Sam Webb (6)
The shocking ones here are Darius Phillips and Sam Webb, but both guys earned a spot. Nate Hobbs, Rock Ya-Sin, and Anthony Averett should be the starters right now.
Safety: Johnathan Abram, Trevon Moehrig, Duron Harmon, Roderic Teamer (4)
After the trade of Tyree Gillespie, the Raiders pretty much gave you the blueprint to their safety position. Trevon Moehrig and Duron Harmon should see significant snaps. Johnathan Abram will see more action in the box, and some sprinkled in outside linebacker snaps as well.
Special Teams: AJ Cole, Daniel Carlson, Trent Sieg (3)
Perhaps the hardest prediction of all. Just kidding, this is a top three unit in the sport.
*Top Photo: Getty Images