Assembling the Roster: How the 2020 Las Vegas Raiders were built

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)

Table inside Article
Player Position Year
Johnathan Abram S 2019
Damon Arnette CB 2020
Derek Carr QB 2014
Maxx Crosby DE 2019
Bryan Edwards WR 2020
Clelin Ferrell DE 2019
Maurice Hurst DT 2018
Gabe Jackson G 2014
Josh Jacobs RB 2019
Isaiah Johnson CB 2019
Arden Key DE 2018
Kolton Miller T 2018
Foster Moreau TE 2019
Trayvon Mullen CB 2019
Tanner Muse LB 2020
Brandon Parker T 2018
Hunter Renfrow WR 2019
Amik Robertson CB 2020
Henry Ruggs III WR 2020
John Simpson G 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)

Table inside Article
Player Position Year
Nelson Agholor WR 2020
Devontae Booker RB 2020
Trent Brown T 2019
Daniel Carlson K 2018
Derek Carrier TE 2018
Maliek Collins DT 2020
Rico Gafford WR 2018
Johnathan Hankins DT 2018
Erik Harris S 2017
Jeff Heath S 2020
Rodney Hudson C 2015
Richie Incognito G 2019
Lamarcus Joyner S 2019
Nick Kwiatkoski LB 2020
Cory Littleton LB 2020
Marcus Mariota QB 2020
Carl Nassib DE 2020
Nathan Peterman QB 2018
Daniel Ross DT 2020
Kendal Vickers DE 2020
Darren Waller TE 2018
Jason Witten TE 2020

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.

Trade (3)

Table inside Article
Player Position Year
Denzelle Good G 2018
Zay Jones WR 2019
Raekwon McMillan LB 2020

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)

Table inside Article
Player Position Year
AJ Cole P 2019
Alec Ingold FB 2019
Andre James T 2019
Dallin Leavitt S 2018
Nicholas Morrow LB 2017
Keisean Nixon CB 2019
Jalen Richard RB 2016
Trent Sieg LS 2018

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.

View photos of the Las Vegas Raiders 53-man roster as it currently stands.

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