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Vegas Nation crew projects Raiders’ 53-man roster

Updated August 29, 2022 - 10:11 pm

Several decisions have to be made by the Raiders ahead of the NFL-mandated deadline of 1 p.m. Tuesday to get rosters trimmed to 53 players, not the least of which is what to do about former first-round pick Alex Leatherwood.

If the Vegas Nation crew’s attempt to whittle the roster is correct, Leatherwood’s name won’t appear on the Raiders’ final list. Both Raiders’ beat reporters Vinny Bonsignore and Adam Hill have Leatherwood off the roster.

Coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler must decide whether Leatherwood has shown enough promise to warrant making the cut.

It would be a difficult decision to release him just a year after he was selected with the 17th overall pick and one that would be cost the Raider a future cap hit. But the new regime has shown its top priority is fielding the best team today.

Leatherwood appears to have fallen out of favor in the rotation, but he’s far from a lost cause. McDaniels and Ziegler have to decide whether investing in his potential is worth it for a team with high expectations.

Leatherwood is not the only choice they have to make ahead of the cut-down deadline, and their work won’t be done at 1 p.m., either. Some players can be shifted to injured reserve to open roster spots and some who didn’t make the cut for one team may quickly be snatched up by another.

Rookie running back Brittain Brown and wide receiver Keenan Cole could be fighting for a roster spot, along with safeties Roderic Teamer and Matthias Farley.

So across the league, coaches, general managers, scouts and other team personnel are huddled inside team facilities dissecting every possibility and deciding the fates of hundreds of players.

The first difference between Bonsignore and Hill, who agreed on 51 of the 53 players, came down to roster construction and willingness to expose a player to waivers.

Bonsignore elected to keep six running backs and five receivers. Hill had five running backs and six receivers. While Bonsignore kept Brown, a seventh-round pick, and cut Cole, Hill had Cole on the team with the hope that Brown could clear waivers and be brought back to the practice squad.

Cole is not subject to waivers as a veteran with more than four years of service time. He would immediately be free to sign with any team.

Brown has flashed at times in the preseason and could be snatched up, so it would be risky to try to sneak him back on the practice squad. While six running backs may be too many to keep on the roster, Bonsignore wins out on this one and our final projection includes Brown instead of Cole.

The other discrepancy came at safety. While the top three players at the position aren’t in dispute, the fourth was a slight point of contention.

While Hill went with Teamer, Bonsignore elected to keep Farley. This decision could come down to their work on special teams where Farley has extensive experience.

Teamer, however, is younger and proved himself on defense last season, albeit under a different regime with the Raiders. He can also contribute on special teams, though Farley may have the edge there.

We’ll go with Teamer on our final projection, though it’s very close. They could also elect to keep both players and sacrifice a spot somewhere else.

Here’s the roster the Vegas Nation team has settled on:

OFFENSE (25)

Quarterbacks (2): Derek Carr, Jarrett Stidham.

Running Backs (6): Josh Jacobs, Zamir White, Brandon Bolden, Ameer Abdullah, Brittain Brown, Jakob Johnson (FB).

Wide receivers (5): Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, Mack Hollins, Tyron Johnson, DJ Turner.

Tight ends (3): Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, Jesper Horsted.

Offensive line (9): Kolton Miller, Dylan Parham, Andre James, Lester Cotton, Jermaine Eluemunor, John Simpson, Thayer Munford, Jackson Barton, Alex Bars.

DEFENSE (25)

Defensive line (10): Maxx Crosby, Chandler Jones, Bilal Nichols, Johnathan Hankins, Tashawn Bower, Malcolm Koonce, Andrew Billings, Clelin Ferrell, Matthew Butler, Neil Farrell.

Linebackers (5): Denzel Perryman, Divine Deablo, Jayon Brown, Darien Butler, Luke Masterson.

Cornerbacks (6): Nate Hobbs, Rock Ya-Sin, Trayvon Mullen, Anthony Averett, Darius Phillips, Sam Webb.

Safeties (4): Tre’von Moehrig, Johnathan Abram, Duron Harmon, Roderic Teamer.

SPECIALISTS (3)

Kicker (1): Daniel Carlson.

Punter (1): A.J. Cole.

Long-snapper (1): Trent Sieg.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter. Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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