With training camps opening this week, more than 130 draft picks are either still negotiating a…
Evaluating the roster: OL and DL
(70) Jesse Boone, 6-5, 300, Utah: Spent time with the Raiders last season but is more than likely headed for the practice squad considering the logjam ahead of him.
s(66) Cooper Carlisle, 6-5, 295, Florida: Starting right guard played nearly flawless in 2007 and was Oakland's least penalized lineman. Works very well in tight spaces and can get out on the move as well. Maybe the most underrated player on the Raiders' roster.
(76) Robert Gallery, 6-7, 325, Iowa: Had perhaps his most effective season since his rookie year, transitioning well to left guard under the guidance of line coach Tom Cable. Gallery may never live up to the hype he had coming into the NFL from college but he's nowhere near the bust that many have him pegged as. He still needs to improve as a pass blocker but he seems to thrive in the zone blocking schemes in the running game.
(74) Cornell Green, 6-6, 315, Central Florida: Started 10 games at right tackle for the Raiders last season and toyed with free agency in the offseason before re-signing with Oakland. While his experience gives him an edge for the job heading into camp, Green cannot feel entirely secure about his position. Some in the organization believe he's better suited for a backup role and would prefer to see Mario Henderson win the job outright.
(64) Jake Grove, 6-4, 300, Virginia Tech: Injuries continue to derail the career of Oakland's one-time starting center. Grove has played a full season just once in four years and was unable to beat Jeremy Newberry for the starting job last year. Grove heads into camp third on the depth chart but could easily move up with a good camp.
(77) Kwame Harris, 6-7, 325, Stanford: Takes over the left tackle job while trying to revive a career that started off well but fell on hard times in San Francisco. Oakland loves the size that Harris brings to the position and hopes that with some help from Cable he can return to the form that made him a starter early in his career with the 49ers. It's a definite risk and if the gamble fails, quarterback JaMarcus Russell could end up paying the price.
(75) Mario Henderson, 6-7, 300, Florida State: Second-year player didn't play at all on offense during his rookie season when he was admittedly out of his element. The hope is that with another year under Cable and a full season in the offseason program Henderson will be ready to challenge Green for the right tackle job.
(79) Paul McQuistan, 6-6, 315, Weber State: Has shown some surprising versatility during his young NFL career, playing at guard as a rookie before stepping in at right tackle in 2007 when starter Cornell Green was injured. Barring injury he's not likely to crack the starting lineup at either position this season but will provide depth.
(51) Chris Morris, 6-4, 305, Michigan State: Third-year player figures to push John Wade for the starting center job in a battle that is likely to last the entire preseason. While he doesn't have great size and isn't very physical, Morris makes up for his shortcomings with quickness and smarts.
(60) Brandon Rodd, 6-4, 305, Arizona State: Played both tackle and guard in college but will stay inside at guard with Oakland. That's both good and bad for the young rookie. Outside of McQuistan, Rodd is the only other backup guard on the roster; the downside is that he doesn't stand a very good shot of beating out either Robert Gallery or Cooper Carlisle.
(71) John Wade, 6-5, 300, Marshall: Veteran center comes to Oakland after spending past five seasons in Tampa Bay where he was the starter the last three seasons and has the inside track on the starting job with the Raiders. Wade will have to hold off Chris Morris in camp but his experience gives him a definite advantage, though it's not set in stone yet.
(72) Seth Wand, 6-7, 330, N.W. Missouri State: Journeyman lineman who begins camp as the backup left tackle behind Kwame Harris. Wand has good size for a tackle but is stiff in his movement and doesn't set up as well as he should against pass-rushers, which is why he's been mainly a backup throughout his career.
(63) Mark Wilson, 6-7, 320, California: Listed as a tackle but saw some time at right guard during offseason workouts. Because of his size the Raiders are making every effort to find him a spot to play but at best he'll be in a backup role, if not on the practice squad.
(56) Derrick Burgess, 6-2, 260, Mississippi: Two-time Pro Bowler has 35 sacks in three seasons with the Raiders, including eight in 2007 when he was slowed early in the year while recovering from hernia surgery. Burgess was at his best when Warren Sapp was plugging space in the middle and now that Sapp is gone, it will be interesting to see how teams try to defend Burgess and how he responds.
(58) Kalimba Edwards, 6-6, 265, South Carolina: Signed with Oakland after a somewhat disappointing stay in Detroit where he started only 22 games in six seasons and had only 26 sacks. Because the Raiders have no clear-cut front-runner for the defensive end job opposite Derrick Burgess, Edwards has a chance but it will most likely be as part of a combination.
(92) Derrick Gray, 6-4, 265, Texas Southern: Put together a nice college career but needs a lot of work to make it in the NFL. What he has are the raw skills of a solid defensive end in the making: Although he is a prototypical speed-rusher, he is quick off the snap, has a good wingspan and holds his own at the point of attack. A little work and who knows.
(97) Greyson Gunheim, 6-5, 265, Washington: A longshot to make the team at defensive end, Gunheim has the raw talent to make it as a backup in the NFL but needs a lot of improvement after earning a reputation as an underachiever in college.
(93) Tommy Kelly, 6-6, 300, Mississippi State: Signed for mad money in the offseason even though he's coming off a serious knee injury, Kelly has played every position on Oakland's defensive line since joining the team in 2004 and has been one of the league's best kept secrets. No less an authority than Warren Sapp himself believes Kelly will play at an elite level now that he's at the three-technique spot but it remains to be seen and will be one of the keys as the Raiders get into the regular season.
(96) William Joseph, 6-5, 310, Miami (Fla.): The former first-round draft pick of the New York Giants in 2003 never panned out in the Big Apple so he's trying to revive his career with the Raiders. It could be a perfect fit. Though he never had more than 25 tackles during his four seasons in New York, Joseph needs to get back on track and Oakland has a serious need for run-stopping depth in the middle of its defensive line.
(67) Tranell Morant, 6-6, 275, Arizona State: Seems to be very similar in both size and skills as Grady Jackson, the one-time Raider who played very well in Green Bay and Atlanta. Morant is an undrafted free agent who can work his way into the D-line rotation with a strong performance in the preseason. Another practice squad candidate if he can't break onto the 53-man roster.
(98) Jay Richardson, 6-6, 280, Ohio State: Has been trying to improve his overall game after playing primarily against the run as a rookie. With an open spot on the right end up for grabs, Richardson has a chance to become the full-time starter if he can develop any kind of a pass rush.
(90) Terdell Sands, 6-7, 335, Tenn.-Chattanooga: Basically was a no-show in 2007 after signing a $17 million extension but could be a big factor if he's motivated. Not starting material but on good days swallows blockers and works well against the run. Has to be looking over his shoulder after being relegated to third on the depth chart during offseason workouts.
(91) Trevor Scott, 6-5, 255, Buffalo: Sixth-round draft pick is trying to work his way into the defensive end rotation and he's got a good chance due to the lack of proven depth on the left side. Scott has a quick burst off the line which will benefit him on passing downs but he needs to bulk up if he wants to be able to defend the run better.
(95) Josh Shaw, 6-3, 305, Michigan State: Played in only one game for the Raiders last year and has played sparingly throughout his career but worked his way up Oakland's depth chart in the. Shaw has some experience and will likely start the season as Tommy Kelly's backup but look for him to play extensively as the Raiders like to rotate their defensive linemen in and out.
(94) Greg Spires, 6-1, 265, Florida State: Based on experience alone Spires would seem to have the inside shot at the starting spot left vacant when Chris Clemons signed with Philadelphia in the offseason. He has 39 ½ sacks in his career and played on Tampa Bay's Super Bowl champion team in 2002. But he missed six games with a calf injury in 2007 and might be best suited for a backup role.
(61) Gerard Warren, 6-4, 330, Florida: Veteran nose tackle played well at times and was Oakland's best all-around defensive lineman when he wasn't dealing with a calf injury. After coming to the Raiders in a support role following his trade from Denver, Warren now has to step into the leadership void left when Warren Sapp retired.
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