Every year I attempt to tell you who will be on the final 53-man roster, and this year is no exception. In spite of the Raiders playing in the final preseason game of the year, I’ll still be able to squeeze this out before those cuts are made. This year it is harder than previous years because there are so many young players on this team, so the team's instinct would be to keep them and try to develop them even if there is a decent veteran playing behind them. The last thing you want is for another team to swoop in and sign somebody from your practice squad after you worked to progress them all through training camp. Without further ado, here we go.
The Raiders were smart not to play Terrelle Pryor in this game. When week six rolls around, he could be pushing Edwards out of town, but without teams having any tape to evaluate there is more of a chance that nobody will sign him if he is delegated to the practice squad this year. To be honest, Hue Jackson seems more annoyed than happy about the situation.
Running Backs (4)
No surprises here, but Michael Bennett and Louis Rankin will be on speed dial if there is an injury. Cartwright is a special teams ace and is not going anywhere.
Manase Tonga will be on the practice squad for another year, but will be ready to be called up if needed.
Wide Receivers (6)
This is without a doubt one of the hardest cuts to make this year because guys like Nick Miller and Shaun Bodiford actually showed up to play this year in the preseason. Ideally you would like to keep only five guys at this position, but that injury to Louis Murphy in addition to keeping the oft-injured but effective Schilens makes that more difficult.
Tight Ends (3)
Richard Gordon proved he is worthy of a spot on this roster in the preseason, so I would not be surprised at all if the Raiders dropped Brandon Myers and went with two rookies here. But for now, I’m putting Myers in there based on the fact that he is going into his third season and Gordon is practice squad eligible.
Offensive Line (9)
Here is a spot where I almost like the depth more than the starters. But to a man, Carlisle and Satele both proved they are the Raiders' best offensive lineman this preseason, and the starters kept Jason Campbell clean and upright for most of the preseason. Don’t be surprised if Wisniewski takes over for Loper and Barnes is replaced by Heyer at some point this year.
Offensive Unit: 26 players
Defensive Line (8)
Basically the same unit as 2010 but with one more back-up defensive end who earned his keep in the absence of Scott. No shockers here.
Bruce Davis II
It’s pretty clear cut who the defensive front seven consists of even if there is injury. Sam Williams is another special teams ace who is not going to be parted with yet. Blackstock is a developmental player who has shown potential in preseason. Davis is probably the most well rounded back-up in this unit.
With the loss of Hiram Eugene earlier this preseason, Boyd and Brown are almost shoe-ins to make this team in 2011. Boyd has been playing that rover position that was occupied by the injured Mike Mitchell.
Demarcus Van Dyke
If Jeremy Ware makes the roster over Sterling Moore, it is tragic. Moore may actually be better than Van Dyke, but he won’t get that nickel cornerback position over the guy Al Davis drafted. The coaching staff has already invested a lot of time into making the DVD experiment work out this preseason. The poor guy has been made to look bad though, against some really talented receivers. Also keep in mind that Huff and Branch will move to cornerback if they are needed there.
Defensive Unit: 24 players
Special Teams (3)
Punter - Shane Lechler
Kicker - Sebastian Janikowski
Long Snapper -Jon Condo
Follow me on Twitter @Raidersblogger ####Search TFDS on Facebook
Our depth at Linebacker is disgusting. Most teams would be unfortunate to keep one player with the talent of Blackstock, Williams and Davis Jnr. And we have 3 of them!
Ware and Stevie Brown are cut also. Rumor has it recently cut Brandon Meriwhether is close to becoming a Raider, maybe moving Mike Huff to corner?
Word is Sheppard and Walter McFadden BOTH cut!
Al Davis made the right call there. Could be Sterling Moore vs Ware or could keep both depending on how they fit Boyd and Chekwa into the roster. Denver released Cox who started 9 games last year as a rookie but got charged with sexual assault during offseason. One of possible CBs we could still bring in.
Sam Williams is another special teams’ ace that is not going to be parted with yet. LMFAO Bret: 11 total tackles last year!!!! And I reckon his salary must be almost 800K towards the cap salary for a 9 year vet. You could put two rookies on the minimum for that amount. How on earth does this guy take a roster spot year after year????
oh BTW Spartacus, if you're reading:
"Seahawks LG Robert Gallery was forced from Friday’s preseason finale with a sprained knee. He will undergo an MRI this afternoon. HC Pete Carroll said the injury is “significant enough” that he’s unsure of Gallery’s status for Week 1. The Seahawks’ offensive line has been a mess all preseason, so it would be quite a blow were they to lose their new left guard just eight days before the start of the season."
let me sing you a number... THERE.. GOES.. SPARTS HEEEROOO... WATCH HIM AS HE GOES !!! duuuun.. da-dun dun-dun.
Chekwa and Sheppard over Sterling Moore and Davis. Moore isnt given a fair chance to make the team but that's the way it is. Boyd can play outside linebacker and could be cut later for another linebacker when/if Mitchell returns. Also, Leman or another FA (Ricky Brown?) over Sam Williams. Do you really want Williams as the backup man in the middle?
I could see Hagan, Schilens, or even Ausberry cut. Dont really need all three but its likely they all make the team.
BTW ... to all the doom n gloom kids out there ... please stop worrying. this team was without DMAC, Seymour, and CJ .. that makes all the difference in the world, trust me. and they are without Schilens, Ford(except for the 1 grab), and Murphy ... having those receivers on the field will open things up bigtime for Denarius, and even maybe DHB if he gets a few catches a game like the one he had last night(doubtful) ...
on defense, if most of you think that 2 players doesn't make a bit of difference, think again. CJ will have better coverage, which means the oft. triple teamed Seymour will have more time to get to the QB. the pressure will be on. I do believe Chucky B is only dialing up certain blitzes from the edges to help our DBs get used to his system of blitzing. we'll see more pressure from other players WHEN IT COUNTS .
Hue Jackson isn't worried about an 0-4 preseason, TRUST ME. he knows what really matters, and hasn't shown us anything this team is capable of. what i saw last night was a bunch of 'throwing the ball around' kind of offense. plain VANILLA as Hue says.
its not about what we prefer, it's about Al Davis. he doesn't give up on draft picks that easily. yes, Sterling deserves the nickel spot, that much is very clear. if DVD continues to be burnt toast week 1 in that position, then i don't see Hue keeping him in very long. if Al really pushes for it, then the man is truly idiotic.
I agree with you BA about the depth of our OL being better than our starters. Barksdale, Bruce, and Heyer will start at some point this season. Wis just needs to get used to center IMO. that's still the Raiders plan here. Carlisle and Satele have kept Jason's shirt clean, it's true, but against what talent i may ask? not a whole hell of a lot ... the real test for them will be the first 4 weeks ... maybe not against the donkeys since they don't have too much up the middle, but the rookie Dareus, then the next week against the NYJ DL, then next week facing Haynesworth and Wilfork ... i'm willing to bet they'll get pushed back on a regular basis. that's when we'll see Bruce come in and stone wall opponents. I truly hope it happens week 1 and 2 so this coaching staff sees early that Carlisle doesn't have it anymore and needs to go to a backup role, which i'm okay with.
The list is spot on - with one exception.
Sterling Moore goes to practice squad and Lito Shepherd is kept. Personally I prefer W. McFadden be cut in order not to expose Moore to the pre practice squad wavier wire.
Maybe we need to look at one of the recent linebacking cuts: Texans Xavier Adibi, Patriots Niko Koutouvides, or Rams Zac Diles. Far from top notch talent but have got to be an upgrade over Blackstock, Williams or Davis Jnr!
I would love to see us sign Meriweather. Cannot believe the Patriots actually cut him.
Cox is average and is facing some very hefty jail time. I will be surprised if anyone actually signs him until they know for sure if he is looking at jail time or not.
In addition to Blackstock and Boyd, Scott and Moss can help backup the OLB positions. It might be thin but if Davis wont cut Walter McFadden then this is the next best solution.
yeah - I think you are right on ... I also think we will be trawling the waiver wire VERY carefully, because we are paper thin at LB ...
@uglyorc yes, Moore not getting a spot on this roster will be a farce, because he WILL land somewhere else and play well, at least in a backup roll this season ... while Al is still hanging on to McFadden and Ware. yipeee!!!
@DARKKUSH Ware could clear waivers and be put on the practice squad. He barely beat out Stevie Brown last year. Brown started on the practice squad and made the team later. The bigger problem is McFadden who is simply in the way. Not just in the way of Moore, Sheppard or Ware, but also in the way of Giordano or linebacker help. There are so many options better than Walter McFadden. While McFadden wont beat out Chekwa, he's one of the reasons behind the Chekwa free safety experiment.
I would definitely go with Moore and Shepherd over Ware and Mcfadden! I know we haven't seen Shepherd but I don't believe there can be anyway 2 time probowler, a 10 year vet can be worse than these 2. The only plays Mcfadden makes seems to aid other teams! He has been awful in preseason.. And I just really like Moore! Think he has played really well, one of the rare highlights of our pretty shoddy backups in the secondary.