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AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron

2018 AFC West Roster Roundup: Oakland Raiders

How does Oakland’s roster stack up in the AFC West after all the moves Jon Gruden made in the offseason?


Projected Starters



QB: Derek Carr

RB: Doug Martin
WR: Amari Cooper
WR: Jordy Nelson
WR: Martavis Bryant
TE: Jared Cook
LT: Donald Penn
LG: Kelechi Osemele
C: Rodney Hudson
RG: Gabe Jackson
RT: Kolton Miller



DE: Khalil Mack
DT: Justin Ellis
DT: Maurice Hurst
DE: Bruce Irvin
OLB: Tahir Whitehead
MLB: Derrick Johnson
OLB: Emmanuel Lamur
CB: Rashaan Melvin
CB: Gareon Conley
S: Reggie Nelson
S: Karl Joseph


Roster Notes/Thoughts


Notable depth

QB Connor Cook, RB Marshawn Lynch, RB Jalen Richard, FB Keith Smith, WR Seth Roberts, WR Johnny Holton, WR Ryan Switzer, TE Lee Smith, TE Derek Carrier, OT Breno Giacomini, DL Mario Edwards Jr., DE Arden Key, DE Tank Carradine, DT P.J. Hall, LB Marquel Lee, CB Daryl Worley, CB Leon Hall, CB Nick Nelson, S Marcus Gilchrist, S Obi Melifonwu


Biggest strength: Wide receiver

I think Jon Gruden will get the best out of the offensive line, but the group took a surprising step back in 2017, so wide receiver has a slight edge for biggest strength in my opinion. Amari Cooper should be featured weekly, and Jordy Nelson still has plenty left in the tank after getting off to a scorching start last year before Aaron Rodgers’ injury. Plus, Martavis Bryant will be an explosive, big-bodied target on the outside.


Biggest weakness: Cornerback

Defense will continue to be the question mark in Oakland, but there isn’t really a glaring weakness like in previous years. At cornerback, Rashaan Melvin should be a really good option at one starting spot, but he’s still a slight question mark, as his only standout season came in a contract year. Also, 2017 first-round pick Gareon Conley still needs to prove himself or he could be pushed by Daryl Worley and rookie Nick Nelson; there’s even a chance that no one steps up and the secondary is just as weak as it was last season.


Position battle to watch: Running back

Everyone seems to believe Marshawn Lynch will be the clear starter for the Raiders to start the year, but if there’s one thing everyone should know about Jon Gruden, it’s that he wants competition. I believe a focused Doug Martin will be able to win the job outright over Marshawn Lynch, but all jobs will be determined in training camp and preseason action. We’ll see what happens, but fantasy owners should probably check out what Gruden said about Martin last week.


Early over/under: 8.5 wins (via Odds Shark)

Over. Jon Gruden didn’t come back to go 8-8, and all the moves he made this offseason suggest that he wants to win in 2018. I expect Derek Carr to have a huge season leading the offense, and all the defensive additions should eventually gel together to see significant improvement under the new coaching staff. Oakland finishing 10-6 or better wouldn’t surprise me.


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