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5 observations from the Raiders' initial 53-man roster

After an intense and long Training Camp for the Las Vegas Raiders, the initial 53-man roster is here.

In total, 20 players were released or waived. Additionally, cornerback Trayvon Mullen was traded to the Arizona Cardinals for a 2023 conditional draft pick. Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels could still make a few tweaks to their roster before Week 1 against the Chargers with the large amount of talent on waivers.

Here are a few observations following the release of the initial 53-man roster.

No shortage of running backs

In the mind of Josh McDaniels, there's no such thing as having too much of a good thing.

The Raiders' running back room has been one of the main highlights of Training Camp, averaging nearly 132 rushing yards in four preseason games. The Silver and Black kept their running back room stacked with five running backs making the initial 53-man roster.

The corps will consist of 2021 Pro Bowler Josh Jacobs, veterans Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah and rookies Zamir White and Brittain Brown. Not to mention fullback Jakob Johnson being on the roster as well.

Abundant defensive line

Out of all the position groups, the unit with the most players on the initial roster is the defensive line. Led by Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones, the D-line currently consists of 11 players.

Among them, there's some familiarity within the coaching staff and front office. Tashawn Bower played two seasons in New England with McDaniels and Ziegler, Bilal Nichols played four seasons in Chicago with Assistant General Manager Champ Kelly and Johnathan Hankins played two two seasons with the New York Giants under Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham.

Successful summer for 2022 draft class

All of the team's draft selections made this offseason earned a spot on the initial roster. That includes offensive linemen Dylan Parham and Thayer Munford Jr., running backs Zamir White and Brittain Brown, and defensive linemen Neil Farrell Jr. and Matthew Butler.

Four rookie UDFAs make roster

For the first time since 2019, a rookie UDFA made the Raiders' initial 53-man roster.

To be exact, four rookie UDFAs made this roster, which includes linebackers Luke Masterson and Darien Butler and defensive backs Sam Webb and Isaiah Pola-Mao. Masterson and Butler led the Raiders in total tackles this preseason, combining for 40 tackles. Webb came right behind the two linebackers in total tackles with 16, along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery.

"[I]t doesn't matter how you get here, what matters is what you do when you're here," McDaniels said last week regarding the team's UDFAs. "Luke [Masterson] and Sam [Webb] and Darien [Butler], we have a number of guys that have really showed well for themselves and made some progress. They all have a long way to go, because they're very young and in many ways inexperienced, but the fact that they were durable enough to stay on the field."

"They've taken a lot of reps, they've played a lot of football, they've used all four preseason games to try to benefit themselves in terms of making progress in each phase that they're in," continued McDaniels, "but I'm very pleased with the effort, the attention to detail and the progress that a lot of these guys have made here over the last month."

An intriguing, yet promising receiving corps

The wide receiver room is obviously highlighted by Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow, who both had over 100 receptions and 1,000 yards last season. Along with those two, Mack Hollins makes the roster as a consistent veteran coming off a four-touchdown season with the Miami Dolphins.

The Silver and Black receiving corps is rounded out by Tyron Johnson and DJ Turner. Both Johnson and Turner were undrafted coming out of college and spent time on the Raiders' practice squad last season.

"We try to bring each other up as much as we can," Turner said of his relationship with Johnson in Training Camp.. "He kind of comes from a similar background, being undrafted, being on the practice squad for a couple years. He helps me out a lot."

After a preseason in which the two receivers combined for 216 receiving yards and 14 catches, this could be their opportunity to truly make a name for themselves on this roster.

View photos of the Silver and Black's 53-man roster as it currently stands (Last updated Wednesday, November 30th)

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