Projecting the final 53-man roster for the 2021 Las Vegas Raiders has been much more challenging than expected. A lot of difficult decisions will have to be made, as is the case with all teams. There are going to be a lot of talented players the Raiders hope they can sneak onto the practice squad. Even a lot of the Raiders recent free agent acquisitions will find it difficult to make this roster. With that said, let us take a look at the 53-Man roster projection for the Raiders.
2021 Las Vegas Raiders 53-Man Roster Projection
Quarterbacks: (3) – Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, Nathan Peterman
Not too much to comment on here. Even though Marcus Mariota has been hurt for most of the preseason, he is a lock for the backup job. Jon Gruden loves what he has done with Nathan Peterman, so he will not be going anywhere either.
Wide Receivers: (5) – Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, Hunter Renfrow, Zay Jones, John Brown
Could only make room for five wide receivers in this roster prediction. Zay Jones has found a way to make said roster once again. He has had a solid camp and preseason, plus has a strong relationship with Derek Carr. There is no doubt that Hunter Renfrow will start in the slot, not even worth discussing. Meanwhile, Jones will see time at all receiver positions throughout the season. Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards will be the starting receivers on the outside with John Brown getting significant snaps there as well.
Running Backs (4) – Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, Alec Ingold, Trey Ragas
The big thing to mention here is the absence of Jalen Richard. He has seen his usage go down each season since the arrival of Jon Gruden. To make matters worse, Richard has been hurt all preseason. This has allowed Trey Ragas, the younger and cheaper option, to showcase his ability to be a reliable backup at the position. Alex Ingold will be the only fullback on the roster.
Tight Ends (3) – Darren Waller, Foster Moreau, Dereck Carrier
The retirement of Jason Witten opens the door for Foster Moreau to have a breakout season. Even with Darren Waller getting the lion’s share of the targets, Moreau will find himself on the field quite often. The Raiders are expected to run a lot of two-tight end sets. With all the attention on Waller, Moreau will be a valuable red-zone option.
Offensive Line (10) – Kolton Miller, Richie Incognito, Andre James, Denzelle Good, Alex Leatherwood, Brandon Parker, John Simpson, Nick Martin, Jaryd Jones-Smith
This projection has the Raiders going 10-deep on the offensive line. John Simpson has the opportunity to steal a starting guard spot from Denzelle Good if he struggles. Simpson will likely end up playing meaningful snaps anyways with Richie Incognito being prone to injury. Alex Leatherwood will start at the right tackle position.
Defensive Line (10) – Maxx Crosby, Yannick Ngakoue, Johnathan Hankins, Clelin Ferrell, Carl Nassib, Malcolm Koonce, Darius Phillon, Gerald McCoy, Quinton Jefferson
Carl Nassib and Malcolm Koonce will be rotational pass rushers to start the season. Carl Nassib has been extremely underwhelming since joining the Raiders. If not for his cap hit and the possible publicity ramifications, it is likely he would not even make the roster. Johnathan Hankins and Gerald McCoy are the prime candidates to start on the interior of the defensive line. Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue will be the starting on the ends.
Linebackers (7) – Cory Littleton, Tanner Muse, Nick Kwiatkoski, Nicholas Morrow, Denzel Perryman, Javin White, Divine Deablo
With the injuries to Nicholas Morrow and Javin White, the Raiders decided to trade for Denzel Perryman. Perryman has experience in Gus Bradley’s system and is more than capable of being a rotational linebacker. Tanner Muse and Cory Littleton will get the start for the outside linebacker position.
Defensive Backs (9) – Johnathan Abram, Trevon Moehrig, Casey Hayward Jr., Trayvon Mullen Jr., Damon Arnette, Nate Hobbs, Tyree Gillespie, Amik Robertson, Nevin Lawson,
After showing out in the preseason, Nate Hobbs is virtually, a lock to start in the slot over Nevin Lawson. Johnathan Abram and second-round rookie Trevon Moehrig will start at the safety positions. Meanwhile, Trayvon Mullen Jr. and Casey Hayward Jr. will start on the outside. Not a good sign for last year’s first-round pick, Damon Arnette. He has played well in the preseason, but apparently not well enough to supplant Heyward. Amik Robertson will be a rotational player at both the outside and nickel positions.
Kicker & Punter (2) – Daniel Carlson, AJ Cole
Not too much to comment on here. Both Daniel Carlson and A.J. Cole were the starters at their respective positions last season. Carlson made 33 of 35 field goal attempts last season, and Cole was very solid punting the ball himself. They close out the 2021 Las Vegas Raiders roster projection as the team’s specialists.
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