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Who will make Raiders’ 53-man roster? Here’s how we see it

Updated June 27, 2022 - 11:15 am

The Raiders will begin training camp on July 18 under first-year coach Josh McDaniels, as 90 players will vie for 53 roster spots.

The team finished minicamp confident it can build a playoff-caliber roster with those players, but never rule out a trade or free-agent signing.

Here’s our early predictions on what the final roster will look like:

Offense

Quarterback (2)

Derek Carr, Jarrett Stidham

Comment: The Raiders could be compelled to keep three quarterbacks, and if they do, Nick Mullens could earn a spot. But Carr rarely misses games, and the expanded practice squad could be a landing spot for Mullens in case of an injury.

Running back (5)

Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, Brandon Bolden, Jakob Johnson (FB), Zamir White

Comment: Jacobs and Drake are entering the final year of their contracts, with White seen as the heir apparent to Jacobs. This is a position of strength.

Wide receiver (5)

Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, Demarcus Robinson, Keelan Cole, Mack Hollins

Comment: Adams and Renfrow are a perfect complement, and the Raiders can play with a third receiver on a situational basis among three veterans. Tyron Johnson is expected to make a push as a speedster who can take the top off a defense, but keeping six receivers might be too many given other needs. Johnson could end up on the practice squad.

Tight end (3)

Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, Jacob Hollister

Comment: The Raiders will keep one or two tight ends on the practice squad, with Nick Bowers among the candidates.

Offensive line (10)

Kolton Miller (T), Alex Leatherwood (T), Andre James (C), John Simpson (G), Denzelle Good (G/T), Brandon Parker (T), Thayer Munford (T/G), Dylan Parham (G/C), Lester Cotton (G), Alex Bars (G/C/T)

Comment: The Raiders have tough decisions to make on the line, including the possibility of signing or trading for a veteran. Jermaine Eluemunor could factor in, and the health of Good will play into the decisions. But if Good is healthy, and with Cotton making a big push in minicamp, the Raiders could decide to keep Cotton and the versatile Bars. The biggest questions are whether Leatherwood ends up at guard or tackle and whether Parham pushes for a starting role as a rookie.

Defense

Defensive line (9)

Maxx Crosby (DE), Malcolm Koonce (DE), Johnathan Hankins (DT), Vernon Butler (DT), Bilal Nichols (DT), Cle Ferrell (DT/DE), Matthew Butler (DT/DE), Neil Farrell (DT), Kendal Vickers (DE)

Comment: This is another area the Raiders might tinker with via trade or free agency, though Farrell and Butler could ease some concern by proving they can be rotational players as rookies. Second-year end Koonce is a player to watch.

Linebacker (6)

Chandler Jones (OLB), Kyler Fackrell (OLB), Denzel Perryman (ILB), Divine Deablo (ILB), Kenny Young (ILB), Jayon Brown (ILB)

Comment: The depth behind Jones at rush linebacker is suspect, though Koonce could play there if needed. Fackrell has been dependable in that role. Deablo is coming off a good rookie season — especially in the final five weeks — and Perryman, Young and Brown add production and experience.

Cornerback (6)

Trayvon Mullen, Rock Ya-Sin, Nate Hobbs, Anthony Averett, Darius Phillips, Amik Robertson

Comment: Chris Jones and Cre’Von LeBlanc will push for roster spots, with Phillips and Robertson having to fend them off the most. The biggest question is Mullen’s health after offseason foot surgery. Hobbs could be a star in the making, but overall, there’s a lot of uncertainty with several newcomers.

Safety (4)

Johnathan Abram, Tre’von Moehrig, Duron Harmon, Tyree Gillespie

Comment: Moehrig is one of the best young players on the roster and coming off a strong rookie season. Abram has one final chance to show he is part of the team’s long-term future. Harmon adds experience and leadership, and Gillespie has to show he can stay healthy.

Special teams (3)

Daniel Carlson (K), A.J. Cole (P), Trent Sieg (LS)

Comment: The Raiders are as good as it gets on special teams.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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