This Monday, the first-wave of cuts went by without many surprises for the Oakland Raiders. Tomorrow, the Raiders play in their final preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. For some players, the last preseason game means nothing to them, they know it’s a certainty they will make the final 53-man roster. For others, this game is their last chance to make a impression before the last-wave of cuts arrive on Friday, August 30th. Instead of waiting until friday to find out, I’m going to give you a sneak peek at what the final roster will look like.
No big surprises here. After the 2012 NFL Draft passed-by without Reggie McKenzie taking a quarterback, these are the QB’s I expected to make a roster.
As everyone expects, Darren McFadden will make the team, and probably the pro bowl. Rookie Lonaye Miller has had a decent preseason, but Taiwan Jones and Mike Goodson have more experience and upside. If Mike Goodson has a horrible game against the Seahawks, the Raiders may consider bringing in a veteran for depth purposes.
Most teams only carry one fullback, sometimes teams don’t even have a fullback on their roster. This case is different though. Gregg Knapp will use the versatile Marcel Reece as an H-Back, rather than using him as a traditional, run-blocking fullback. Expect to see Marcel Reece lined-up in the slot, as a tight end, and occasionally as a running back. Owen Schmitt will play the role of the traditional fullback. He’ll lead block for Darren McFadden.
Since week-one of the preseason, everyone generally had a pretty good idea of what the wide receiver corps were going to look like. With Jacoby Ford banged-up, the Raiders signed Roscoe Parrish. Roscoe Parrish will fill the void at punt returner during Jacoby’s absence.
The tight ends, as a whole, haven’t been very impressive in preseason play. The familiar faces of Brandon Myers, David Ausberry, and Richard Gordon will remain. None of the other tight end have shown enough to steal one of their spots.
(Player to be determined)
Again, no big surprises here. I expect the Raiders to carry 4 offensive tackles during the season. I just don’t believe the 4th tackle is on the team right now.
The top-3 guards were guaranteed to make the roster. Unless an injury occurs, I expect the Raiders to only keep 3 guards on the team.
Stefen Wisniewski is the set-in-stone starter. The coaching staff seems to like Parsons as Wisniewski’s backup.
Tollefson, Houston, and Shaugnessy are the three veterans of this unit. Carl Ihenacho has had an excellent preseason so far. The Raiders will keep Ihenacho during the season. He’s a nice long-term prospect at defensive end.
This is probably the deepest position on the whole defense.Veterans; Tommy Kelly, Richard Seymour, and Desmond Bryant will be featured heavily in the defense. Rookie, Christo Bilukidi, has looked very solid throughout the preseason.
(Player to be determined)
Hate to be boring, but this is another case where I don’t think one of the players that will be on the 53-man roster is currently on the team. Aaron Curry will probably start the regular season on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perfrom) list. The Raiders desperately need depth at outside linebacker. Expect Reggie McKenzie to troll the waiver-wire for outside linebackers.
To the chagrin of many Raiders’ fans, yes, Rolando McClain will make the roster. Travis Goethel and rookie, Nathan Stupar haven’t had a good preseason so far. Undrafted rookie, Chad Kilgore, has been everywhere this preseason. He looks very instinctual and has played at a high level. Barring a huge performance from Goethel or Stupar, Chad Kilgore makes the team as Rolando McClain’s backup.
DeMarcus Van Dyke
Starters Shawntae Spencer and Ron Bartell look solid. The rest of the cornerbacks have been up-and-down this preseason. But because of the lack of clarity at cornerback, I think the Raiders will roll into the preseason with 6 cornerbacks.
No surprises here. Mike Mitchell and Tyvon Branch have had outstanding preseasons so far.
Again, no surprises. Both players are locks to make the roster.
Unless his injury is serious (which I doubt), Sebastian Janikowski will be the only kicker on the Raiders’ roster.
Marquette King has looked excellent this preseason, but Shane Lechler is just on another level.