Let's take a look at the Raiders' current 53-man roster heading into the regular season.
The roster is in.
While there aren’t many things in sports more fluid than an NFL roster, the Oakland Raiders – along with the 31 other teams in the league – have all set and submitted their initial rosters by Saturday’s 1:00 pm PST deadline.
As far as the Silver and Black are concerned, there were a few relative surprises in terms of their initial roster; let’s take a look at six observations from the first 53.
1. Gruden keeps his three
The Silver and Black went through the offseason workout program and training camp with three wide receivers, and they’ll now enter the regular season with those same three signal-callers, as Derek Carr, Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman all made the final roster.
There really isn’t much surprise – or any, to be honest – that Carr and Glennon find their names on the initial 53, and truth be told, I’m really not shocked in the least that Peterman earned a spot either.
Peterman played more than either Carr or Glennon throughout the preseason, and he certainly made a lasting impression on Head Coach Jon Gruden, completing 60 of his 84 pass attempts, totaling 475 yards and three touchdowns along the way.
Oh, and he added 78 yards on the ground as well, showing a little somethin’ somethin’ with his legs too.
Look, I know the first chapter of Peterman’s career became a bit of a national punchline, but give the man credit, with his play over the past month, he showed that he undoubtedly deserves a spot on an NFL roster.
2. Ingold wins the job
Congratulations, Alec Ingold.
After showing out in the first three preseason games – young Mr. Ingold was but a spectator for Thursday’s affair in Seattle – the undrafted rookie beat out veteran fullback Keith Smith to earn a spot on the final roster.
Give “Beef” credit, the former San Jose State Spartan came on strong as of late, but at the end of the day, Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock elected to go with the young fella.
Following the news that he didn’t make the team, Smith took to social media to thank the organization on his way out.
The NFL is indeed a business, and today, the rookie from Wisconsin beat out the incumbent.
3. Speaking of undrafted free agents
Four undrafted free agents made the Raiders roster.
In addition to Alec Ingold, punter A.J. Cole, tackle Andre James, and cornerback Keisean Nixon all got good news Saturday afternoon.
Year after year, we see one or two undrafted players impress throughout the offseason and ultimately make the roster, but this year, that number is four.
It’s also worth mentioning that two of those players – Cole and Ingold – won a one-on-one competition for their spot on the 53.
4. The vets win out wide
The Silver and Black ultimately elected to keep six wide receivers on the roster, all of whom have extensive NFL experience except for one – rookie Hunter Renfrow.
The other five wideouts the Raiders kept – Antonio Brown, Ryan Grant, J.J. Nelson, Tyrell Williams and Dwayne Harris – have all seen their fair share of NFL action, and I would think that the experience now present in that room is very much by design.
That said, the Raiders did have to say goodbye to a handful of very talented receivers, most noticeably Marcell Ateman and “Hard Knocks” star Keelan Doss.
Ateman, who appeared in seven game last year for the Silver and Black had his moments throughout training camp and the preseason, but just didn’t do enough to earn his way onto the final 53.
Could either Ateman or Doss find their way back to the Raiders on the practice squad though? Time will tell.
5. The draft class comes out strong
Of the team’s nine-man draft class, eight made the 53-man roster – the long exception being defensive end Quinton Bell.
We’ve heard time and time again over the past few months, how the 2019 draft was going to be pivotal for the future of the Silver and Black, and with the haul that Gruden and Mayock secured over that three-day span, it was easy to get excited about the group.
Well, flash forward to the start of the regular season, and that excitement hasn’t diminished in the least, as all the rookies who made the team showed they have what it takes to play at the next level.
That’s no shot at Quinton Bell either, the recently converted defensive end has all the physical tools at his disposal, and his name is one you should keep in mind once the practice squad is formed.
6. Liuget makes the cut
Evidently, Gruden and Mayock liked what they saw from Corey Liuget’s film enough to not play him against the Seahawks, then reward him with a spot on the 53-man roster.
To be fair, the veteran defensive tackle really didn’t need to show anything in that final exhibition game, but his inclusion in the final roster is noteworthy none the less, particularly considering that Justin Ellis was placed on IR.
In total, the Raiders kept four defensive tackles – Liuget, along with P.J. Hall, Jonathan Hankins and Mo Hurst.