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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)

Guard Vadal Alexander 2016 Linebacker Cory James 2016
Linebacker Shilique Calhoun 2016 Kicker Sebastian Janikowski 2000
Quarterback Derek Carr 2014 Running back Taiwan Jones 2011
Cornerback TJ Carrie 2014 Safety Karl Joseph 2016
Quarterback Connor Cook 2016 Defensive end Khalil Mack 2014
Wide receiver Amari Cooper 2015 Cornerback Dexter McDonald 2015
Defensive tackle Justin Ellis 2014 Defensive tackle Stacy McGee 2013
Offensive lineman Jon Feliciano 2015 Running back Latavius Murray 2013
Cornerback DJ Hayden 2013 Tight end Mychal Rivera 2013
Linebacker Ben Heeney 2015 Tight end Clive Walford 2015
Guard Gabe Jackson 2014 Defensive end Jihad Ward 2016
Safety Keith McGill 2014 Running back DeAndré Washington 2016
Tackle Menelik Watson 2013

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)

Safety Nate Allen 2016 Fullback Jamize Olawale 2012
Linebacker Daren Bates 2016
Long snapper Jon Condo 2006 Offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele 2016
Wide receiver Michael Crabtree 2015 Tackle Donald Penn 2014
Tackle Austin Howard 2014 Tight End Lee Smith 2015
Center Rodney Hudson 2015 Linebacker Malcolm Smith 2015
Linebacker Bruce Irvin 2016 Cornerback Sean Smith 2016
Offensive lineman Matt McCants 2013 Safety Brynden Trawick 2016
Safety Reggie Nelson 2016 Defensive tackle Dan Williams 2015

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)

Cornerback David Amerson 2015
Wide receiver Andre Holmes 2013

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 lineman Denico Autry 2014 Defensive tackle Darius Latham 2016
Cornerback Antonio Hamilton 2016 Quarterback Matt McGloin 2013
Wide receiver Johnny Holton 2016 Running back Jalen Richard 2016
Punter Marquette King 2012 Wide receiver Seth Roberts 2014

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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