A Closer Look At The Roster: How The 2016 Oakland Raiders Were Built


With a plethora of moves, including trading safety Dewey McDonald to the Seattle Seahawks, General Manager Reggie McKenzie officially reduced the Oakland Raiders roster to 53 players before Saturday afternoon's league-mandated deadline.

As the team progresses through the regular season, the roster – in particular the bottom portion of it – will remain fluid, but let's take a quick look at how the initial 53-man roster was put together.

Just to clarify, fullback Marcel Reece and linebacker Aldon Smith are currently on the Reserve/Suspended by Commissioner list and do not count towards the team's 53-man limit.

NFL Draft (25)

GuardVadal Alexander2016LinebackerCory James2016
LinebackerShilique Calhoun2016KickerSebastian Janikowski2000
QuarterbackDerek Carr2014Running backTaiwan Jones2011
CornerbackTJ Carrie2014SafetyKarl Joseph2016
QuarterbackConnor Cook2016Defensive endKhalil Mack2014
Wide receiverAmari Cooper2015CornerbackDexter McDonald2015
Defensive tackleJustin Ellis2014Defensive tackleStacy McGee2013
Offensive linemanJon Feliciano2015Running backLatavius Murray2013
CornerbackDJ Hayden2013Tight endMychal Rivera2013
LinebackerBen Heeney2015Tight endClive Walford2015
GuardGabe Jackson2014Defensive endJihad Ward2016
SafetyKeith McGill2014Running backDeAndré Washington2016
TackleMenelik Watson2013

As it stands now, the Raiders have drafted 26 players who made the 53-man roster.

Drafted in the first round of the 2000 NLF Draft, Kicker Sebastian Janikowski is the longest-tenured Raider in the group, and guard Vadal Alexander is the most-recent selection by General Manager Reggie McKenzie.

Along with Alexander, the other six members of the Raiders 2016 draft class also earned their way onto the roster.

UPDATE: The Raiders placed defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. on the Reserve/Injured list Monday afternoon.

Free Agency (17)

SafetyNate Allen2016FullbackJamize Olawale2012
LinebackerDaren Bates2016
Long snapperJon Condo2006Offensive linemanKelechi Osemele2016
Wide receiverMichael Crabtree2015TackleDonald Penn2014
TackleAustin Howard2014Tight EndLee Smith2015
CenterRodney Hudson2015LinebackerMalcolm Smith2015
LinebackerBruce Irvin2016CornerbackSean Smith2016
Offensive linemanMatt McCants2013SafetyBrynden Trawick2016
SafetyReggie Nelson2016Defensive tackleDan Williams2015

As ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan likes to say, good teams build through the Draft and supplement through free agency.

Well, the Raiders think that they have a good team heading into 2016, and that is the very formula they've followed over the past several seasons.

McKenzie and his staff have undoubtedly drafted well as of late – look no further than quarterback Derek Carr, wide receiver Amari Cooper, and defensive end Khalil Mack – but combined with those quality picks, they've been able to bolster the rest of the roster through free agency.

This offseason, McKenzie signed a trio of quality players in the early stages of free agency; linebacker Bruce Irvin, guard Kelechi Osemele, and cornerback Sean Smith.

Claimed Via Waivers (2)

CornerbackDavid Amerson2015
Wide receiverAndre Holmes2013

Amerson and Holmes are the only players the Raiders claimed via waivers to initially make the roster.

Amerson is entering his second season in Silver and Black, and Holmes is entering his fourth.

Both players have been solid additions to the team, as Amerson turned into the team's best cover cornerback last season, and Holmes has been a solid contributor on both offense and special teams.

UDFA (8)

Defensive linemanDenico Autry2014Defensive tackleDarius Latham2016
CornerbackAntonio Hamilton2016QuarterbackMatt McGloin2013
Wide receiverJohnny Holton2016Running backJalen Richard2016
PunterMarquette King2012Wide receiverSeth Roberts2014

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter had an interesting tweet Monday morning, stating that there are more undrafted free agents on NFL rosters today, than first and second-round picks combined.

While the Raiders don't exactly fall into that category, they come close, as the team has nine first and second-round picks combined on the initial roster, as well as eight undrafted free agents.

Four rookie undrafted free agents made the team out of training camp, cornerback Antonio Hamilton, wide receiver Johnny Holton, defensive tackle Darius Latham, and running back Jalen Richard.

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