The Oakland Raiders wrapped up their offseason program on Thursday and open training camp on July 29 in Napa, California. Here’s a 53-man roster projection:
The Raiders surprised many by trading up in the fourth round to select Cook, so might they only go with two QBs and let McGloin go? Hard to see that scenario.
Washington was drafted to be the change-of-pace back behind Pro Bowl pick Murray. Jones is the kick returner. Atkinson is a legacy and special-teams contributor. Helu has yet to practice this offseason.
FULLBACKS (1): Jamize Olawale
Where is four-time Pro Bowl fullback Marcel Reece? Relax. He’ll find his way on the roster after three games, when his league-mandated suspension ends.
McCaffrey has the genes and the speed to be a slot receiver and special-teams ace to beat out the rest of the undrafted receivers. By the way, Cooper is the only wideout actually, you know, drafted by Oakland.
Rivera was reportedly on the trade block early this offseason, so might he still be when camp begins? Look for Walford to rebound from his offseason ATV accident.
The competition at right tackle between Watson and Howard figures to be one of the more intriguing battles of training camp. But if Watson wins out, might the Raiders move on from Howard?
A deep and diverse group that needs guys who can play down low in both a 4-3 and 3-4 alignment. In fact, there might be room for another player, depending upon what happens in the secondary, numbers-wise. And technically, All-Pro Mack is listed as a defensive end.
Perhaps the most fluid position group on the roster, especially with the Raiders having used a sixth-round draft pick on Cory James and taking a flier on the intriguing pass-rushing undrafted free agent Cowser. Lotulelei has been getting playing time as the second-team middle linebacker as well as on special teams. Toomer provided a bump last season as well. Room will have to be made in November for Aldon Smith after his suspension ends.
Did I say the linebackers were the most fluid group on the roster? I meant the DBs. Because while it would shock few if Hayden were to get cut, it would be just as unsurprising were he to win the slot corner gig. Meanwhile, Dewey McDonald and Nate Allen were holding down the starting safety spots in the offseason as Joseph and Nelson rehabbed.
How long has Janikowski been in the NFL? He played his first pro game when there was a Clinton in the White House. Might there be another when the team’s all-time leading scorer plays his final game? King is ready to take that next step and Condo could be pushed by Andrew East.