Clive Walford is still not ready
Veteran blocking tight end Lee Smith is again listed as the starter. That is not a testament to his play, but more an indicator about the younger players behind him.
Clive Walford suffered an injury in the offseason, which slowed down his chance to break out in the preseason. The second-year player remains the favorite to finish the year as the starter. He needs to make it happen already, and he needs to stay off of any ATV’s which could injure him.
Outside of that, Mychal Rivera held onto a roster spot. Lots of trade rumors put his position in the air. It seems like the Raiders were not comfortable enough with the other two tight ends on the roster, so they kept Rivera as the third tight end option. Rivera needs to improve his blocking if he wants to surpass the two players in front of him.
In the end, the Raiders have talent at the position. However, they need one of the guys to step up and cement himself as the starting tight end.
Next: Offensive Line