Aside from some tinkering during the remainder of the offseason, the Raiders roster is set for training camp.
A busy free agent period reeled in 13 new players, including four projected defensive starters, an experienced quarterback to back up Derek Carr and depth on the defensive line.
Meanwhile, a seven-man draft haul could yield starters at wide receiver and cornerback while adding depth, production and versatility from a handful of others.
Today begins a two-part breakdown of where the roster stands, with grades, beginning with the offense.
Starter: Derek Carr
Backups: Marcus Mariota, Nathan Peterman.
Outlook: Carr is one of the last players standing after a three-year roster overhaul by coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock. As he heads into his seventh season, his supporting cast is arguably the best he’s worked with and provides the help to get the Raiders to the next level. If so, Carr will solidify himself as the unquestioned quarterback for the future. The Raiders invested $7.5 million in guaranteed money in Mariota, whose experience gives them their most reliable backup quarterback in years. Peterman, a favorite of Gruden, rounds out a deep quarterback room. Depending on where Carr takes the offense this year, the final grade has a chance to go higher.
Starter: Josh Jacobs
Backups: Jalen Richard, Alec Ingold, Devontae Booker, Lynn Bowden Jr., Rod Smith, William Stanback
Outlook: With Jacobs setting a Raiders rookie rushing record with 1,150 yards and Ingold grading out as Pro Football Focus’ fourth best fullback in the NFL as an undrafted free agent, the Raiders are in good shape at two important positions in Gruden’s offense. They also added Booker in free agency, and while his production has dipped over the years, he does add experience.
Starters: Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow, Henry Ruggs.
Backups: Nelson Agholor, Bryan Edwards, Zay Jones, Rico Gafford, Marcell Ateman, Keelan Doss, Anthony Ratliff-Williams, Siaosi Mariner, De’Mornay Pierson-El.
Outlook: The Raiders’ offseason work at this position could turn a weakness into one of their strengths. Much of the turnaround will be tied to Ruggs contributing immediately and a clean bill of health for Williams, whose first season with the Raiders was hampered by foot issues. Agholor provides insurance while Edwards is a rookie who might see the field early. Jones didn’t make the impact the Raiders had hoped after trading for him last season, but he offers speed and experience.
Starter: Darren Waller
Backups: Foster Moreau, Jason Witten, Derek Carrier, Nick Bowers, Nick O’Leary
Outlook: The Raiders used multiple tight ends in 373 of their 989 offensive plays last year, the fourth most in the NFL. While the upgrades at wide receiver could alter that ratio, don’t expect them to abandon their heavy tight end use, especially after Waller’s breakout year, the promise Moreau showed as a rookie and the addition of Witten. The Raiders were first in the NFL in three-tight end sets, and averaged a second-best 5.9 yards per play when they did. Carrier is a nice depth player and a valued special teams contributor.
Starters: LT Kolton Miller, LG Richie Incognito, C Rodney Hudson, RG Gabe Jackson, RT Trent Brown.
Backups: John Simpson, David Sharpe, Denzelle Good, Jordan Devey, Andre James, Sam Young, Eric Kush, Eric Magnuson, Brandon Parker, Kamaal Seymour, Lester Cotton.
Outlook: When intact, the Raiders’ offensive line last year graded out in the top 15 in the NFL, a dramatic turnaround from their recent mediocre groups. The entire line returns in 2019, along with Good and Sharpe, both of whom played well off the bench. The Raiders lengthened the pool of reserves by drafting Simpson and adding Young and Kush, who have a combined 40 career starts. Between a solid starting five and added depth, this is a position of strength.