The Raiders play the Miami Dolphins on Saturday in South Florida in their third preseason game. Awaiting them when they get back to Las Vegas will be the New England Patriots, who they will practice against on Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of their preseason finale on Friday at Allegiant Stadium.
The regular season is rapidly approaching, and the closer it gets the more question Raiders fans have about final roster decisions, the offensive line and personnel groupings.
Jad Khayata (@Jad_khayata): Who’s more of a lock to make the roster, Tyron Johnson or DJ Turner?
VINCENT BONSIGNORE: Excellent question, and one for which an answer might not be provided until the final cuts in two weeks.
There is always the possibility the Raiders keep six wide receivers, a scenario that would create room for two young players who are having strong training camps.
If it does come down to Turner or Johnson, they are just different enough that it might come down to who the Raiders need most to round out their roster.
In Johnson’s case, that means speed. He is a legitimate 4.3 40-yard dash athlete, and that is an element the Raiders may be lacking without him on the roster. His ability to stretch the field, when the situation warrants, could earn him a roster spot.
To his credit, he has also worked on other parts of his game to become a more complete receiver.
Turner profiles more as a slot receiver, although his growth and development over the last year put him in much better position to expand his game and fill multiple receiver roles. Like Johnson, he is also showing he can play special teams, a necessity to a receiver on the back end of the depth chart.
All that said, this race may go down to the wire. When the dust settles, maybe the Raiders figure out a way to keep both.
OfficialLarry™ (@larrybaca): Do see the Raiders winning 10 games?
VB: Without a doubt.
Obviously their final win total will come down to a number of factors — health, good fortune, etc. etc. — but there is no question, based on talent, the Raiders should be able to compete at the highest level. It would be a disappointment if they don’t win 10 or more games.
Chad (@chadkail1): Why are they not signing any offensive tackle depth, especially with the Brandon Parker injury?
VB: If the Raiders do make a move to add tackle depth, the sense is they will wait until the final cut-down day when they have a clear understanding of what is available to them. Also, don’t rule out a trade.
In the meantime, the rapid development of Thayer Munford, the improvement of Jermaine Eluemunor and the continued development of Alex Leatherwood and Jackson Barton has created a comfort level that the Raiders can cobble together a solid group of starting and reserve tackles from the current group. However, if a better option becomes available, they will act on it.
Tahoe Blackjack 21 (@TahoeBlack21): Where the heck is Cle Ferrell? Is he even going to make this team?
VB: Ferrell is working through an injury. He is getting his work in, but it’s been nearly three weeks since he last practiced. When healthy, he can provide decent depth on the defensive line. But he needs to get well soon to prove to a new staff he can help this team.
CoachEricCarrillo (@BigEZ77): Why the Tyree Gillespie move?
VB: Even after trading Gillespie, the Raiders have six safeties. That position isn’t just crowded, it’s talented. And frankly, Gillespie was getting squeezed out. Fortunately for him, the Titans had a need at his position to create a soft landing spot for him.