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
PlayerPositionYear
Johnathan AbramS2019
Damon ArnetteCB2020
Derek CarrQB2014
Maxx CrosbyDE2019
Bryan EdwardsWR2020
Clelin FerrellDE2019
Maurice HurstDT2018
Gabe JacksonG2014
Josh JacobsRB2019
Isaiah JohnsonCB2019
Arden KeyDE2018
Kolton MillerT2018
Foster MoreauTE2019
Trayvon MullenCB2019
Tanner MuseLB2020
Brandon ParkerT2018
Hunter RenfrowWR2019
Amik RobertsonCB2020
Henry Ruggs IIIWR2020
John SimpsonG2020

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
PlayerPositionYear
Nelson AgholorWR2020
Devontae BookerRB2020
Trent BrownT2019
Daniel CarlsonK2018
Derek CarrierTE2018
Maliek CollinsDT2020
Rico GaffordWR2018
Johnathan HankinsDT2018
Erik HarrisS2017
Jeff HeathS2020
Rodney HudsonC2015
Richie IncognitoG2019
Lamarcus JoynerS2019
Nick KwiatkoskiLB2020
Cory LittletonLB2020
Marcus MariotaQB2020
Carl NassibDE2020
Nathan PetermanQB2018
Daniel RossDT2020
Kendal VickersDE2020
Darren WallerTE2018
Jason WittenTE2020

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
PlayerPositionYear
Denzelle GoodG2018
Zay JonesWR2019
Raekwon McMillanLB2020

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
PlayerPositionYear
AJ ColeP2019
Alec IngoldFB2019
Andre JamesT2019
Dallin LeavittS2018
Nicholas MorrowLB2017
Keisean NixonCB2019
Jalen RichardRB2016
Trent SiegLS2018

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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