Five Oakland Raiders on the roster fringe

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Sep 28, 2014; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Oakland Raiders tight end Brian Leonhardt (87) celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Leonhardt

Oakland has made an apparent effort to improve their situation at the tight end position, as they have brought in two rookies and one veteran free agent to compete for spot on the roster.

With the fourth pick in the third round of the 2015 NFL draft the Raiders selected former University of Miami (Fla.) tight end Clive Walford.

Walford is a dual-threat tight end that prides himself on both his blocking and pass catching ability. At 6’4″, 251 pounds Walford is a very physical prospect that is often times considered a matchup nightmares for linebackers and safeties. Not only is he projected to be on the 53-man roster, but he is in a close competition with veteran Mychal Riviera for the starting role.

Fellow rookie, former Purdue University tight end Gabe Holmes, is also battling for an open spot on the roster as an UDFA.

Although Holmes isn’t the favorite to beat out former 2013 UDFA Brian Leonhardt for the final tight end spot, free agent addition Lee Smith just might be the guy that pushes him off of the roster.

Former Buffalo Bills tight end Smith is a dominant run blocker that can have a huge impact on Oakland’s run game in 2015, as he is often able to dominate defenders with his 6’6″, 265 pound frame.

Leonhardt is capable of mirroring Lee’s blocking ability and he has yet to prove he can consistently have an impact as a receiving threat.

The former Bemidji State University tight end caught just six passes in 12 games for 35 yards and one touchdown in 2014.

Leonhardt is still capable of developing into a capable tight end in the NFL, but their simply isn’t enough room on the roster with the recent offseason additions.