The Raiders trimmed their roster to 53 players on Saturday afternoon, but will continue to tinker with their personnel heading into the Sept. 13 regular-season opener against Cincinnati.
They have the roster’s basic structure ironed out, and it's a bit unorthodox. The team kept seven cornerbacks, four tight ends and two quarterbacks. There were intense position battles in a production camp, but this roster is deep in some areas and shallow at others.
There were some surprising inclusion and cuts on this version of the 53-man roster. The Raiders will sift through NFL roster cuts in search of help at several positions, including cornerback and offensive line.
Those moves will come later. Here’s the 53-man roster has it stands right now, with some thoughts on each position group:
Inside the selection: Vastly upgraded group. Raiders kept six receivers. All spots deserved.
Offensive tackles (3)
Inside the selection: McCants didn’t play well in the exhibition finale, but has played well at right tackle and can play guard. He’s worthy of roster spot.
Inside the selection: Feliciano is a good backup at guard, and Barnes can play anywhere. Webb and Jackson set as starters.
Inside the selection: Surprised that Bergstrom stuck around. General manager Reggie McKenzie’s first draft pick has nine lives, and survived as a backup center. The team briefly tried Feliciano there, but it didn’t pan out.
Tight ends (4)
Inside the selection: The Raiders are keeping four tight ends, which may be a sign that Clive Walford still isn’t ready to return to action. It’s a good group, but with a high volume.
Inside the selection: Raiders going with two quarterbacks in the for the first time in a while. McGloin beat Christian Ponder fair and square this preseason, prompting his release. In a perfect world for the Raiders, Carr is the only guy who takes snaps.
Running backs (3)
Roy Helu Jr.
Inside the selection: Michael Dyer didn’t earn a roster spot in preseason games. Murray will be the bell cow, with Helu and Jones as accent players.
Inside the selection: Reece’s versatility plays a big role here. Don’t forget he’s pretty good as a running back. Coaches really like Olawale, find a way to keep him on the roster. He’ll help on special teams.
Defensive ends (4)
Mario Edwards Jr.
Inside the selection: It’s a solid impactful group. Shelby Harris was a surprise cut, but Benson Mayowa’s versatility can get this group tight by playing end in the nickel. Autry can play inside in the nickel as well and has some versatility.
Defensive tackles (3)
Inside the selection: Ricky Lumpkin was a tough cut. C.J. Wilson didn’t stand out during the preseason and ends up on the cutting room floor.
Outside linebacker (5)
Inside the selection: This group seems strange without Sio Moore, who was traded on Friday afternoon. Smith will be a fixture, and Armstrong will get a crack to start on the strongside. Mayowa is transitioning to that spot and could be a factor.
Middle linebackers (2)
Inside the selection: Mentor and protégé together on this roster. Good depth here.
Inside the selection: Chekwa’s inclusion is probably the biggest surprise of the first 53-man roster. The Raiders kept McDonald and Edwards, who were thought to be competing for one spot. You’d think this group will change some after roster cuts, and some young players may end up on the practice squad.
Inside the selection: The Raiders have a small group of safeties with Taylor Mays cut and Brandian Ross being moved to injured reserve. This three-man rotation is going to have to make it work early, though another veteran could get added soon.
K Sebastian Janikowski
LS Jon Condo
P Marquette King
Inside the selection: These selections are obvious.
NOTE: The Raiders will announce a 10-man practice squad by Sunday afternoon.