After a meaningless game in which no starters played, we escaped without injury and McFadden showcased his strength and downhill style a little more.
The biggest question is, who makes the 53 man roster? Of course several players still could be on the bubble if we bring in guys that were cut from other teams, but which 53 are we looking at right now? Consider this…its not Lane’s decision. Al Davis calls the shots, but I would expect Davis to listen to the coach on the offense, the defense is going to be heavily influenced by Davis. Still, although I’ll be only 90% correct, here is my guesses and why.
QB: Russell, Walter, Tui – Kiffin already said we will carry three QBs
RB: Fargas, McFadden, Bush – Rankin is eligible for the practice squad, and we don’t need him unless we have an injury.
FB: Griffith, Lawton – There is a hunch I have that Reece makes it over Lawton, but considering Reece could go to the practice squad, I have to guess this way. There is a chance Lawton goes if a good blocking FB gets cuts from another team.
WR: Walker, Curry, Higgins, Watkins, Schilens, Shields, – Considering health and ceiling I think it starts this way, although I think a WR could be brought in either from other teams cuts or via a veteran after the season starts (So his salary wouldn’t be guaranteed). Shields would be the first to go, but we will have time to look at him healthy while we look for other options.
TE: Miller, Madsen – I think we will go with just two TE as Fred Wakefield could fill in blocking on the goal line.
OL: Gallery, Harris, Henderson, Green, McQuistan, Wade, Grove, Morris, Wakefield – Although there is an outside chance the Henderson experiment is over, I don’t think it is this year unless a decent OT becomes available. Wakefield’s versatility will keep him around, even with so many guards on the team. Wade makes it simply because Grove’s injury can’t be trusted. I actually think Wade gets cut, but who makes it instead?
Offensive Total: 25
ST: Lechler, Seabass, Condo – No surprises here.
Special Teams Total: 3
DT: Kelly, Warren, Sands, Joseph – Joseph makes it because Al Davis liked him coming out of college.
DE: Burgess, Richardson, Scott, Edwards – I really like Scott and I think the coaches have seen enough to think he can be a viable option when needed. Edwards tries to fill the pass-rush role, but chances are Richardson has to step up, and I think he will.
LB: Howard, Morrison, Brown, Thomas, Alston, Ekejuiba, Williams – Seven LBs is deceiving, but we keep them because two are going to play largely special team roles and probably don’t have much value as backups. Special teams was a problem last year and more guys will be kept to help that area. Sam Williams continues his scholarship. I would expect plenty of the bottom four to be inactive at times this season.
CB: Asomugha, Hall, Routt, Johnson – I think this is pretty locked up, I guess we could keep an extra player, but you have to consider most undrafted rookies will be practice squad eligible.
S: Huff, Wilson, Branch, Underwood, Eugene, Baker – I wanted to cut Eugene and Baker, but considering we need the depth and the other guys are pretty much rookies, both could be cut without hesitation, I just had a hard time finding enough players that deserved to make the roster actually make the roster. I like Underwood as a dark horse to make the team.
Defensive Total: 25
I was pretty unhappy with the roster overall, just because at most positions it wasn’t as if there was a clear cut winner at the end of the rotation. As I’ve said before, we really lack depth on this team and it show when you have to determine who makes the team like this.
I would also guess we make a minimum of three roster moves before the season starts to shore up some positions and even out the positional numbers.