Final 53 Man Roster
Here's the final 53 man Raider Roster with added comments for each positional group:
QUARTERBACKS (3)_Jason Campbell, Bruce Gradkowski, Kyle Boller.
-> The Raiders traded for Campbell who has the most career starts in the group. His accuracy and steady leadership will be critical to manage the game. The key will be Campbell's proficiency in the red zone. Ski has proven that he is more than a capable back-up and is 1 play away from being the signal caller. Boller had an excellent pre-season and has a solid working relationship with OC Jackson. Overall this group is solid with good depth.
RUNNING BACKS (4)_Michael Bush, Darren McFadden, Rock Cartwright, Michael Bennett
-> It was imperative to carry both Cartwright and Bennett due to the recent injuries of Bush and McFadden. The running game never got in gear this off-season and is a concern going into the regular season. Best case scenario is for Bush to return in a few weeks and for McFadden to be utilized as a multi-purpose skilled player in space.
FULL BACKS (1)_Marcel Reece
-> Reece is an excellent pass catching threat out of the backfield but needs to improve dramatically as a lead blocker. Luke Lawton will more than likely return after his 2 game suspension. Lawton is a more traditional power blocker.
WIDE RECEIVERS (7)_Chaz Schilens, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Louis Murphy, Jacoby Ford, Johnnie Lee Higgins, Nick Miller, Yamon Figurs.
-> This is the most inexperienced, least productive WR group in the NFL, bar none. The Raiders desperately need to sign 1 veteran WR to provide Campbell a reliable, chain moving complement to the passing game.
TIGHT ENDS (2)_Zach Miller, Brandon Myers.
-> I would expect the Raiders offense to incorporate 2 TE sets more than usual due to the subpar WR corps. Miller is on the cusp of becoming a Pro Bowl candidate and Myers is a solid pass catcher. Both men are average at best run blockers. My biggest concern for Miller is that teams will naturally adjust their game plan to make it difficult for Miller to make a big impact.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (10)_Mario Henderson, Robert Gallery, Jared Veldheer, Cooper Carlisle, Langston Walker, Khalif Barnes, Samson Satele, Daniel Loper, Erik Pears, Bruce Campbell.
-> It will be very interesting to see if Veldheer can lock down the center position. A 6'7" rookie from a division 2 college starting at center day 1 is an unlikely and interesting story. This group is filled with some major question marks and uncertainty. The only rock solid starter is Gallery at guard. The key will be Henderson re-gaining his pass blocking form to protect Campbell's blind side.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (7)_Matt Shaughnessy, Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, Lamarr Houston, John Henderson, Desmond Bryant, Trevor Scott
-> I'm genuinely thrilled about our DLine's talent and depth. Shaughnessey, Houston, and Scott are very capable edge rushers. Moving Seymour inside strengthens our interior run D. If this group can get 20 solid snaps from Big John Henderson, it bodes well for a very productive rotation.
LINEBACKERS (7)_Kamerion Wimbley, Rolando McClain, Thomas Howard, Ricky Brown, Travis Goethel, Quentin Groves, Sam Williams.
-> Wimbley is the 1st SLB the Raiders have had since Romo who can neutralize the full back on power sweeps. McClain's football IQ is off the charts. Both Wimbley and Scott (listed as a DL but will play WLB) are excellent pass rushers. The biggest concern is the unit's ability to defend RBs and TEs on pass plays.
DEFENSIVE BACKS (9)_Nnamdi Asomugha, Chris Johnson, Tyvon Branch, Michael Huff, Mike Mitchell, Walter McFadden, Jeremy Ware, Stanford Routt, Hiram Eugene.
-> It is my hope that Asomugha will be given the liberty to change up his assignment and not be isolated in outside coverage on the same side of the field. It would be wise to get Asomugha more involved by matching him up with the other team's #1 WR, moving him into the slot on some 3rd downs, playing more zone coverage, and blitzing from the edge. CJ had a poor pre-season and Huff needs to improve in his open field tackling.
SPECIAL TEAMS (3)_Shane Lechler, Sebastian Janikowski, Jon Condo (LS)
-> Lechler & SeaBass are the best pair in the NFL. The special teams unit needs to improve dramatically on kick and punt coverage. Jacoby Ford should be given the opportunity to handle the return game.