Today Raiders.com released the teams first depth chart of 2016, except a depth chart is done by coaches not the team PR department like this was.
Here’s what they came up with.
|WR||15||Michael Crabtree||10||Seth Roberts||80||K.J. Brent||9||Joe Hansley||13||Nathan Palmer||83||Max McCaffrey|
|LT||72||Donald Penn||73||Matt McCants||64||Torian White|
|LG||70||Kelechi Osemele||76||Jon Feliciano||68||Terran Vaughn|
|C||61||Rodney Hudson||62||Ross Burbank||67||Oni Omoile|
|RG||66||Gabe Jackson||74||Vadal Alexander||65||Mitch Bell|
|RT||71||Menelik Watson||77||Austin Howard||79||Denver Kirkland|
|TE||86||Lee Smith||88||Clive Walford||81||Mychal Rivera||82||Gabe Holmes||85||Ryan O’Malley||87||Colton Underwood|
|WR||89||Amari Cooper||18||Andre Holmes||16||Johnny Holton||19||Jaydon Mickens||17||Marvin Hall|
|QB||4||Derek Carr||14||Matt McGloin||8||Connor Cook|
|RB||28||Latavius Murray||22||Taiwan Jones||33||DeAndré Washington||46||Jalen Richard||34||George Atkinson III|
|FB||49||Jamize Olawale||45||Marcel Reece|
|DE||97||Mario Edwards Jr.||96||Denico Autry|
|DT||95||Jihad Ward||92||Stacy McGee||93||Leon Orr||69||Drew Iddings|
|NT||78||Justin Ellis||90||Dan Williams||75||Darius Latham||60||Derrick Lott|
|DE||52||Khalil Mack||47||James Cowser||63||Branden Jackson||94||Greg Townsend||98||Lenny Jones|
|SLB||51||Bruce Irvin||91||Shilique Calhoun||54||Korey Toomer|
|MLB||50||Ben Heeney||57||Cory James||55||John Lotulelei||44||Kyrie Wilson|
|WILL||53||Malcolm Smith||58||Neiron Ball||56||Daren Bates|
|LCB||29||David Amerson||25||DJ Hayden||31||Neiko Thorpe||32||Antonio Hamilton|
|RCB||21||Sean Smith||38||TJ Carrie||23||Dexter McDonald||40||Kenneth Durden||26||Tramain Jacobs|
|FS||27||Reggie Nelson||20||Nate Allen||41||Brynden Trawick||36||Chris Hackett|
|SS||42||Karl Joseph||35||Dewey McDonald||39||Keith McGill||43||Jimmy Hall||37||Chris Edwards|
|K||11||Sebastian Janikowski||3||Giorgio Tavecchio|
|LS||59||Jon Condo||48||Andrew East|
|KR||22||Taiwan Jones||33||DeAndré Washington||46||Jalen Richard||34||George Atkinson III|
|PR||38||TJ Carrie||33||DeAndré Washington||9||Joe Hansley||19||Jaydon Mickens|
I’m not one to get worked up over a fictitious list that places Lee Smith over Clive Walford, but for the most part, it’s what you would expect.
A few notes:
Menelik Watson over Austin Howard shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Watson was on track to win the job last year before injury took his season. If both men can remain healthy, the competition could bring out the best in both of them and provide some nice depth in case that aforementioned injury bug bites again.
Can Taiwan Jones provide enough special teams value to offset his zero value as running back? From all accounts, Washington and Richard have been getting the majority of backup reps in camp, if Del Rio sees enough in Richard to keep him on the 53, then Jones could be in a tight spot to make it.
Jihad Ward proving he may not have been a 2nd round project after all? So far Ward has consistently been in on first team reps, and hasn’t been shy about getting after the vets. You’ve gotta think that Del Rio thinks Ward can play a Malik Jackson type role in Oakland, and if he develops into anything close to Jackson, this Defense is going to be scary.
It’s been no secret that the staff has been upset with the conditioning of Dan Williams. Williams was a huge contributor in the middle in 2015, but he’s going to have to really step it up if he plans to beat out Ellis because beyond short yardage downs, I don’t see us using two 330 pound tackles in the middle (especially considering that Mack and Edwards already provide elite ability against the run).
Beyond that, we’ve got an interesting competition brewing for the #5 (and possibly 6th if we carry that many) WR spot. I’d be lying if I said I knew much about Hansley, Brent, Holton, Mickens and McCaffrey. One grew up with Amari Cooper, one of them comes from a family that was genetically engineered to play football, all of them are UDFA’s and at least one of them is a shoo-in to be the latest undrafted WR to make the squad. My bet is that whoever proves they can return punts (with any semblance of ball security), will be the one with the best chance of making it.
What I’m most excited about is this offseason of eternity finally coming to an end. For the first time in over a decade, I finally have a belief that this team can beat anyone on it’s schedule. What a great feeling this is. This is what Raiders football is supposed to feel like.