Raiders 53-man roster projection 1.0: Defense

The article can be found on the Raiders Wire!


With the bulk of NFL free agency over and the Oakland Raiders already putting their rookie NFL draft selections to work the 2017, the time for depth chart evaluation is already in full swing.

Here is a look at the first 53-man roster projection of the offseason for the Raiders.

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Photo via KYLE TERADA-USA TODAY SPORTS

Interior Defenders (8)

Defensive tackles: Justin Ellis, Eddie Vanderdoes, Treyvon Hester, Darius Latham

Defensive ends: Mario Edwards Jr., Jihad Ward, Denico Autry, Branden Jackson

The Raiders have a young defensive line that should yield many interesting training camp battles this offseason.

Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. will be returning after missing the majority of last season due to a hip injury, and is expected to make a major impact stopping the run and also freeing up holes for Oakland pass rushers to roam free.

Meanwhile, fellow Raiders defensive end Jihad Ward bulked up this offseason, Justin Ellis and Denico Autry should both see some decent run in 2017 on the interior and edges respectively.

Raiders rookie defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes should find himself competing for snaps against Ellis, fellow rookie DT Treyvon Hester and Darius Latham this season — with each making the roster out of training camp.

(edge defenders)

Raiders’ McKenzie says Edwards is ‘ready to roll,’ will help run, pass defense

Photo via Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!


Oakland Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. is “ready to roll,” is “healthy, strong” and “in a good mindset” according to Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie in an interview with JT the Brick on 95.7 The Game yesterday morning.

Edwards had an impressive rookie (2015) campaign amassing 42 tackles, three forced fumbles and two sacks that was marred by a late neck injury. The following year, Edwards played in just two games due to a lingering hip injury that forced a dramatic drop off in his explosiveness.

If Edwards is back to full strength as McKenzie suggests, it will have a profound impact on the defense overall, proving a boost against both the run and pass.

While most fans would be happy with Edwards simply getting back to his rookie form, McKenzie went on to say the third-year DE “wants to be dominant” in his interview with 95.7.

A dominant presence on the opposite side of reigning defensive player of the year and Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack, would go a long way to causing opposing quarterbacks trouble. But when one factors in outside linebacker Bruce Irvin as well?

This Oakland defense could be scary in 2017.


The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!

NFL investigating Marquette King, Marshawn Lynch for ‘violation of gambling policy’

Photo via Ezra Shaw, Getty Images

The article can be found on the Raiders Wire!


The NFL is looking into “The Pro Football Arm Wrestling Championship” that took place between April 5 and April 9 of this year.

At the event, there were over 30 current and former NFL players including retired Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders punter Marquette King and Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. among others, per USA Today Sports.

One other notable player under investigation is Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison, according to Steelers Wire, who has a storied (albeit dated) history of butting heads with the league.

The NFL was not happy with the decision of the players to attend and compete in the event.

“Had we been asked in advance if this was acceptable, we would have indicated that it was in direct violation of the gambling policy,” Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president for communications and public affairs, told USA TODAY Sports. “No one sought pre-approval,” Lockhart concluded.

The event took place at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. The league, which voted in favor of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, have long since wanted to segregate themselves from any association with gambling making the reaction understandable on the surface.

More news to come as the investigation develops.


The article can be found on the Raiders Wire!