Depth Chart Battle Continues
The Raiders unofficial depth chart revealed Matt Schaub having new targets on offense, as well as veterans continuing their hold on the starting line up.
Andre Holmes surprised a lot of people in camp by establishing himself as a starting wide receiver. I hope he can continue the progress throughout the preseason, as he will not be facing the corners he has in camp. James Jones listed at Number two should still be a veteran alternative, but Denarius Moore listed on the third team could mean the play-makers’ tenure with the team is in jeopardy.
David Ausberry captured the starting tight end position, before suffering an undisclosed knee injury. Luckily his number two, Mycheal Rivera has shown promise and growth in his second season. It will be interesting to see who is the other tight end if Ausberry misses extensive time.
Maurice Jones Drew dethroned Darren McFadden as the number one back on the depth chart. McFadden is too good, with too much to prove to not have a role on this team. MJD is a hard runner and competitor, but I am not sold on his big play ability like McFadden. Hopefully this will light a fire under McFadden and force him to step his game up.
Incumbent starter Khalif Barnes is currently listed as the starter at Left Guard. His battle with Gabe Jackson should persist throughout training camp as the young guard gains experience. Either way, this is a testament to the tenacity Barnes possess as he continues to prove himself on one year deals.
Defense was full of less surprise. Sio Moore has beaten out Miles Burris as the starter OLB opposite of Khalil Mack. This should be another on going battle, but considering Moore has more upside he should capture all the reps. The competition will be good for both players development.
Further, Tarrell Brown and Carlos Rodgers are still listed as the starting corners, despite good play from young guys like Chidekwa, Carrie, McGill, and Jones. Ideally, Hayden should push those starters sooner rather than later, but any development in the D Block is needed.
For more on my opinion on the new depth chart, listen to the podcast: http://mixlr.com/silverandblog/showreel/raiders-depth-chart-podcast/