With training camp, less than a month away, the Oakland Raiders will need to pare down a talented roster. With that said, if you look at the depth, the team looks seriously at how to figure out how to shape the roster.
From the moment he signed as an undrafted free agent, Cowser fought his way onto the roster. In his career, he’s switched from end to linebacker. While he does provided outstanding depth and special teams prowess, the Raiders employ faster linebackers that can do Cowser’s job. Yet, you cannot underestimate his name for making plays. Although he didn’t see the field in 2018, Cowser could stave off any challenge.
With the drafting of Foster Moreau, the Raiders currently employ five tight ends. While we all know that Gruden loves tight ends, carrying five into a season will not happen. With that said, Moreau earns a spot based on his recent draft status. Additionally, Darren Waller’s intriguing blend of speed and size will earn him a spot. Butler lacks the explosion of Waller or draft intrigue of Moreau, In all honesty, the Raiders need that fifth tight end spot in another area.
When the Raiders drafted Vanderdoes, other talented players remained on the board. Two Iowa standouts, George Kittle and Desmond King. Each earned All-Pro nods, while Vanderdoes struggled. More importantly, Vanderdoes’ injury history puts him in a precarious position. With advanced knee problems, the Raiders cannot rely on the 24-year-old to play an entire season. In all honesty, no one knows what, if anything Vanderdoes can do. At this level, with mobile and durable guards, an underdeveloped defensive tackle cannot fit into plans. Sitting out the 2018 season for an injury that happened in December 2017 raises eyebrows.
Granted, Townsend enjoyed a one highlight in 2018. However, that play did not involve actual kicking. Drafted as a directional punter, Townsend could not generate quality distance on his kicks. Averaging 43.2 yards per punt does not scare anyone. As a result, the Raiders need to look to camp for an upgrade.