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Assembling The Roster: How The 2017 Raiders Were Built

Posted May 17, 2017

The Oakland Raiders are just a couple weeks out from the start of OTAs, let's take a look at how the roster was built.

The Oakland Raiders are in the midst of their Offseason Training Program, and just recently concluded rookie mini-camp.

With OTAs [Organized Team Activities] less than a month away, let’s take a look at how the 2017 Raiders were built.

NFL Draft (31)


Guard Vadal Alexander 2016 Safety Keith McGill 2014
Linebacker Neiron Ball 2015 Linebacker Cory James 2016
Defensive end Shilique Calhoun 2016 Kicker Sebastian Janikowski 2000
Quarterback Derek Carr 2014 Running back Taiwan Jones 2011
Cornerback TJ Carrie 2014 Safety Karl Joseph 2016
Cornerback Gareon Conley 2017 Defensive back Shalom Luani 2017
Quarterback Connor Cook 2016 Defensive end Khalil Mack 2014
Wide receiver Amari Cooper 2015 Cornerback Dexter McDonald 2015
Defensive end Mario Edwards, Jr. 2015 Defensive back Obi Melifonwu 2017
Defensive tackle Justin Ellis 2014 Tackle David Sharpe 2017
Offensive lineman Jon Feliciano 2015 Defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes 2017
Linebacker Ben Heeney 2015 Tight end Clive Walford 2015
Defensive tackle Treyvon Hester 2017 Defensive end Jihad Ward 2016
Running back Elijah Hood 2017 Tackle Jylan Ware 2017
Guard Gabe Jackson 2014 Running back DeAndré Washington 2016
Linebacker Marquel Lee 2017

Time and time again the phrase, “build through the draft and supplement through free agency,” has been repeated by General Manager Reggie McKenzie and Head Coach Jack Del Rio. Currently, a majority of the team’s roster has been constructed through the draft process.

The longest tenured Raider on the team is kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who was drafted by the Silver and Black back in 2000. The team has added quality talent through the draft in recent memory with the additions of defensive end Khalil Mack, quarterback Derek Carr, and wide receiver Amari Cooper.

Free Agency (23)


Linebacker Tyrell Adams 2016 Linebacker Andy Mulumba 2017
Defensive end Jimmy Bean 2016 Safety Reggie Nelson 2016
Tight end Jared Cook 2017 Offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse 2017
Long snapper Jon Condo 2006 Fullback Jamize Olawale 2012
Wide receiver Michael Crabtree 2015 Offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele 2016
Tight end Cooper Helfet 2016 Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson 2017
Tackle Austin Howard 2014 Tackle Donald Penn 2014
Center Rodney Hudson 2015 Offensive tackle Ian Silberman 2017
Outside linebacker Bruce Irvin 2016 Tight end Lee Smith 2015
Linebacker Jelani Jenkins 2017 Cornerback Sean Smith 2016
Quarterback EJ Manuel 2017 Kicker Giorgio Tavecchio 2015

When you draft quality talent, you’re allowed the opportunity to lure more talented players to the team in free agency. Last season, the Raiders acquired linebacker Bruce Irvin, guard Kelechi Osemele, and veteran safety Reggie Nelson.

In their first seasons with the team, all three players made significant contributions at their position. This year, the Raiders added more offensive weapons with dangerous return man Cordarrelle Patterson and tight end Jared Cook.

Trade (1)


Running back Marshawn Lynch 2017

Possibly the biggest acquisition this offseason was the addition of running back Marshawn Lynch, who was traded to the Raiders from the Seattle Seahawks. Lynch is very familiar with the East Bay, as he’s a native to the city of Oakland.

Claim Via Waivers (1)


Cornerback David Amerson 2015

After making a huge impact on the roster in his first season with the Raiders, cornerback David Amerson signed an extension with the team prior to the start of Training Camp in 2016. The team claimed Amerson via waivers in 2015 and have benefitted from the fruits of his labor ever since.

Undrafted Free Agents (37)


Defensive lineman Denico Autry 2014 Punter Marquette King 2012
Cornerback Breon Borders 2017 Guard Denver Kirkland 2016
Defensive tackle Paul Boyette 2017 Long snapper Anthony Kukwa 2017
Wide receiver K.J. Brent 2016 Defensive tackle Darius Latham 2016
Tackle Chauncey Briggs 2017 Linebacker LaTroy Lewis 2017
Defensive end Fadol Brown 2017 Safety Marcus McWilson 2017
Tight end Pharoah Brown 2017 Wide receiver Jaydon Mickens 2016
Defensive end Chris Casher 2016 Linebacker Nicholas Morrow 2017
Safety Anthony Cioffi 2017 Tight end Ryan O'Malley 2016
Linebacker/defensive end James Cowser 2016 Guard Oni Omoile 2016
Cornerback Kenneth Durden 2016 Running back Jalen Richard 2016
Cornerback Antonio Hamilton 2016 Wide receiver Seth Roberts 2014
Linebacker Najee Harris 2017 Guard Jordan Simmons 2017
Wide receiver Keon Hatcher 2016 Safety Ahmad Thomas 2017
Tight end Gabe Holmes 2015 Defensive tackle Jordan Wade 2017
Wide receiver Johnny Holton 2016 Wide receiver Isaac Whitney 2017
Cornerback Chris Humes 2017 Linebacker Xavier Woodson-Luster 2017
Defensive lineman Branden Jackson 2016 Wide receiver Ishmael Zamora 2017
Safety Rickey Jefferson 2017

Last season, several players from the Undrafted Free Agent pool made big impressions in their first seasons with the team. Most notably, running back Jalen Richard burst onto the scene with his explosive running-style and shifty nature out of the backfield.

At the moment, the team retains a total of 37 UDFAs, and is excited to see them compete throughout OTAs and Training Camp, which takes place in Napa, Calif.