As NFL training camps begin to ramp up and with the Oakland Raiders’ less than one week away, 90 players become 53 in one fell swoop in 2017.
While it’s likely that Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie still has a couple more moves up his sleeve before this roster is fully fleshed out, a final 53-man roster projection before camp seemed in order.
QB (3): Derek Carr, EJ Manuel, Connor Cook
Here come’s the spoiler alert — Derek Carr is going to be the starting quarterback for Oakland in 2017.
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.
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.