The Las Vegas Raiders are one week away from taking the field for the first time, can you believe it?
This weekend, the Silver and Black finalized the 53-man roster, thus completing the dreadful roster-cut process. On paper, we now have a confirmed list of players General Manager Mike Mayock, Head Coach Jon Gruden and the rest of the coaching staff will be riding with for this season (of course, the roster is subject to change by the season's end).
The Raiders' roster is comprised of a handful of veterans, mixed with budding youth; let's take a look at how this team was assembled.
NFL Draft (20)
|Henry Ruggs III||WR||2020|
Derek Carr and Gabe Jackson are the longest-tenured Raiders on the roster, serving as members of the Silver and Black since 2014. While the duo is an integral piece of the team, Mayock and Gruden have added more foundational pieces around them in the last two years, such as Josh Jacobs, Clelin Ferrell, Maxx Crosby, and more.
Free Agency (22)
The big free agency signings this offseason was Nick Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton, upgrading the Raiders linebacking corps, which needed a makeover. The duo is expected to become the identity of Paul Guenther's defense, but they aren't the only free agents who've established themselves as anchors of their unit, for example, Rodney Hudson. The Pro Bowl center joined the Raiders in 2015 and is the glue that holds the offense together. The Raiders have found ample talent in the draft, but they've been able to acquire premier free agents over the last few years.
Offensively, the Raiders needed help at wide receiver last year, which caused GM Mike Mayock to trade for Zay Jones, who Coach Gruden said was the most-improved offensive player in training camp. Jones looks to be a factor in Gruden's receiving corps and is still tapping into his potential at 25 years old.
Undrafted Free Agents (8)
Alec Ingold, Jalen Richard, and AJ Cole are just a few of the handful of UDFAs who've carved out important roles on the Raiders. It's been difficult this offseason given the circumstances for UDFAs to make a strong impression, but the aforementioned players are an example of what can happen when given an opportunity.
Take a look at the Raiders' current 53-man roster heading into the 2020 season.