Projecting the Oakland Raiders’ Final Training Camp Depth Chart
Who's Going to Make the Cut in 2014?
As we wind our way through the summer and camp battles are waged, the final rosters for NFL teams begin to take shape. With several pitched positional battles being fought, you can start to see what the Raiders are going to look like once the regular season gets underway. Though nothing is set in stone at this point, HC Dennis Allen is keeping his options open. Here’s a look at Oakland’s potential final depth chart going into the 2014 season.
Key Reserve: Derek Carr, Matt McGloin
Despite lingering questions about his ability to rebound from a disastrous 2013, to this point Schaub has proven that he has put it behind him. He’s having an exceptionally strong camp and looks to be the veteran QB the Raiders have needed for so long – and the perfect mentor for Carr, Oakland’s QB of the future.
RB: Darren McFadden/Maurice Jones-Drew
FB: Marcel Reece
Key Reserves: Latavius Murray, Kory Sheets, Jamize Olawale, George Atkinson III
McFadden and Jones-Drew, regardless of who starts, will likely split the lion’s share of the carries, but look for Murray and Sheets to be the change of pace backs. Also, look for Reece to be a bigger part of the offense this season.
James Jones, Rod Streater
Key Reserves: Greg Little, Andre Holmes, Juron Criner
The intense camp competition is bringing out the best of Oakland’s receiving corps. Focus and consistency are the themes being drummed into their heads as they look for a young group to finally flourish with an improved line and veteran QB. Criner barely makes the final cuts, but Denarius Moore doesn’t.
Key Reserves: David Ausberry, Nick Kasa
Rivera has had the strongest camp of Oakland’s tight ends thus far. As a pass catcher, he’s creating mismatches for the defense and exploiting his size and speed. He’ll likely get the starting nod, though Ausberry will play quite a bit as well. Kasa is the better blocker of the trio and will likely see significant time on the field when a big blocking body is needed.
Tackles – Donald Penn, Austin Howard
Guards – Gabe Jackson, Kevin Boothe
Center – Stefan Wisniewski
Key Reserves: Menelik Watson, Khalif Barnes, Tony Bergstrom
The line has gone from a big question mark to a source of strength for Oakland. With big, physical, and most importantly, versatile players, the line will set a very physical tone for an offense that is going to run the ball this season -- a lot.
Defensive Ends: Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley
Defensive Tackles: Antonio Smith, Pat Sims
Key Reserves: CJ Wilson, Justin Ellis, Jack Crawford, Torrell Troup
This is a defensive group as deep, talented and versatile as the Raiders have had in a long time. They know how to get after the QB and disrupt and offense’s plans. Look for the line to put heavy pressure on opposing QBs as well as shut down their run game.
Strong Side: Khalil Mack
Middle: Nick Roach
Weak: Miles Burris
Key Reserves: Sio Moore, Kaelin Burnett, Kaluka Maiava
The only real bright spot on the team last season, the Raiders' backers are even better this year. They’re big, fast, physical, deep and very talented. They will rack up some sacks, smother the opposing run game and help shut down the short passes. This group will lead Oakland’s resurgence in 2014.
Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers
Key Reserves, Chimdi Chekwa, TJ Carrie, DJ Hayden, Keith McGill, Neiko Thorpe, Taiwan Jones
Thought to be a liability at the start of camp with presumed starter Hayden out with another injury, a number of players have stepped up and turned in solid performances, showing that the Raiders have some talent in the secondary that could be very strong this season.
Strong: Tyvon Branch
Free: Charles Woodson
Key Reserves: Brandian Ross, Jonathan Dowling, Jeremy Deering
Led by longtime veteran Charles Woodson – who thus far has had an exceptionally strong camp – the Raiders safeties benefit greatly from the return of Tyvon Branch. The safeties have made a ton of plays in camp so far, and the Raiders look to have a real strength there in the defensive backfield.
Kicker: Sebastian Janikowski
Punter: Marquette King
King has shown his booming leg and has proven that letting Shane Lechler walk away wasn’t the disaster many believed it to be. What will be key this season is his relationship and trust level with Janikowski. The chemistry was off last season and as a result, so was the kicking game. Both are saying it’s vastly improved this year, and for the Raiders’ sake, fans hope that’s true.
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