Better late than never, I suppose. The Oakland Raiders took their time about it, but their final 53 man roster is finally set. Here’s how it shook out.
FB: Jamize Olawale
LS: Jon Condo
OT: Chauncey Briggs
OG: Kareem Are, Jordan Simmons
DT: Paul Boyette
MLB: Najee Harris, Ben Heeney, Xavier Woodson-Luster
S: Anthony Cioffi, Rickey Jefferson, Marcus McWilson
K: Giorgio Tavecchio
LS: Andrew East
Aldon Smith, OLB
-The Raiders are playing dangerously with their LB’s. Jenkins performed well in the preseason in spite of dealing with a knee injury, while Lewis was a standout as an undrafted free agent, tying for the team lead in tackles and sacks. Calhoun, last year’s third round pick, hasn’t shown much so far, but it’s still a weird move to part ways with someone like him so soon. Heeney had been on the non-football injury list since the start of camp.
Initial reports are that Jenkins will go to injured reserve. There are still major concerns, however. McKenzie will presumably chase after a free agent to shore up the position.
-Still, congratulations are in order for Nicholas Morrow, an undrafted rookie from DIII school Greenville. He’ll act as a special teamer and hybrid safety-linebacker, assuming he sticks.
-Ware made it through, though like Morrow, he could be replaced with an outside player. He was decent as a blocker in the preseason, enough for the Raiders to keep him around.
-Both Latham and Hester were retained at defensive tackle. One of them may go, but they also could get rotational snaps.
-Hood was the lone draft pick to not make it. He’ll presumably go to the practice squad.
-6 cornerbacks, the same as 2016. Hamilton was a safer bet, but McDonald did not have a good preseason. Maybe he’ll be the man to get cut.
-5 receivers will be carried like last season. The battle for a potential sixth spot between Brent, Mickens and Hatcher ended up not mattering. The latter is reportedly a target for the practice squad, however. Mickens has been waived-injured after suffering an ankle injury early in the week, which kept him out of the final preseason game. The Raiders will have the option to put him on injured reserve should he go unclaimed.
-Other practice squad candidates are the previously mentioned Lewis and Hood, Silberman and Borders, along with both Fadol and Pharaoh Brown. Whitney, Simmons and Sheldon are fallback options.