Raiders projected 53-man roster (Version 1.0)

Raiders projected 53-man roster (Version 1.0)
August 25, 2014, 6:45 am
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Brice Butler has been too strong to get cut. He ends Juron Criner’s time as a Raider.
Scott Bair

Programming note: For comprehensive Raiders coverage from Alameda, tune in to SportsNet Central tonight at 6:00, 10:30 and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

The Raiders have to drop their roster to 75 players by Tuesday. We’re going straight to 53.

We’ll give this roster projection two shots, once Monday morning and again Friday, after the preseason finale against the Seattle Seahawks. We’ll see how these versions match up to the real roster, which will must be set by Saturday.

This was an easier projection to make than a year ago thanks to a higher level of talent and more obvious choices. As you’ll notice there isn’t an undrafted free agent making the squad.

[RELATED: Raiders release seven players, roster stands at 83]

You surely have an opinion on this list. Feel free to express it in the comments section below, but include a corresponding move with the player you’d like to add.

Without further adieu, our 53-man roster projection, Version 1.0:

Receivers (6)

Rod Streater
James Jones
Denarius Moore
Andre Holmes
Greg Little
Brice Butler

Behind the selection: Brice Butler has been too strong to get cut. He ends Juron Criner’s time as a Raider.

Offensive tackles (3)

Donald Penn
Menelik Watson
Matt McCants

Behind the selection: The Raiders only need three tackles, with Howard and Barnes able to swing outside.

Guards (4)

Khalif Barnes
Austin Howard
Gabe Jackson
Kevin Boothe

Behind the selection: This versatile group can handle significant responsibility. Should be a strength of this team. Also, Tony Bergstrom, general manager Reggie McKenzie’s first draft pick, doesn’t make the list.

Centers (1)

Stefen Wisniewski

Behind the selection: If Wisniewski plays every snap, the Raiders will be happy. Boothe can back him up.

Tight end (3)

Mychal Rivera
David Ausberry
Brian Leonhardt

Behind the selection: The Raiders are thin, and certainly would like a fourth tight end on the roster. There isn’t one worthy of a selection on the roster right now.

[RELATED: Ausberry closer to return]

Quarterbacks (3)

Matt Schaub
Derek Carr
Matt McGloin

Behind the selection: As strong a set of backups as there is anywhere.

[BAIR: Elbow issue sidelines Raiders QB Schaub on Sunday]

Running backs (3)

Darren McFadden
Maurice Jones-Drew
Latavius Murray

Behind the selection: Reece allows them to keep three running backs. Kory Sheets would’ve had a spot if he was healthy. Jeremy Stewart was an extremely tough cut.

Fullbacks (2)

Marcel Reece
Jamize Olawale

Behind the selection: The Raiders love Olawale. I think he frees up Reece some and is a stout special teams player.

Defensive end (5)

LaMarr Woodely
Justin Tuck
CJ Wilson
Shelby Harris
Jack Crawford

Behind the selection: Crawford is certainly on the bubble, but he can help in a position group with little depth. It will be interesting to see if the Raiders agree, especially with Khalil Mack able to switch to the line.

Defensive tackles (4)

Pat Sims
Stacy McGee
Antonio Smith
Justin Ellis

Behind the selection: This is a talented group, especially against the run. These four were all no brainers. Smith can add a dimension to the pass rush.

Outside linebacker (5)

Khalil Mack
Sio Moore
Miles Burris
Kaluka Maiava
Kaelin Burnett

Behind the selection: Burnett makes it for special teams work, but the linebacker rotation on defense will be four deep. The Raiders appreciate Maiava’s versatility. That will be helpful on the strong side and in the middle.

Middle linebacker (1)

Nick Roach

Behind the selection: Roach played every defensive snap last season. The team hopes he does so again.

Cornerback (6)

Tarell Brown
Carlos Rogers
Chimdi Chekwa
Taiwan Jones
TJ Carrie
Keith McGill

Behind the selection: This assumes that DJ Hayden starts the year on PUP, which is not a given yet. Jones will be a special teamer. I’m sure the Raiders would love to stash McGill on the practice squad, but that would prompt a stressful trip through the waiver wire. I say they keep him.

Safety (4)

Charles Woodson
Tyvon Branch
Jonathan Dowling
Usama Young

Behind the selection: Ross played a huge role in 2013, but I bet the Raiders go with Dowling’s potential. Young has been hurt, but I find it hard to get rid of his experience.

Specialists (3)

K Sebastian Janikowski
LS Jon Condo
P Marquette King

Behind the selection: These picks are obvious. No explanation needed.