Ranking The 2016 Oakland Raiders 53-man Roster: 30 to 21

Dec 24, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington (33) celebrates after scoring on a 22-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL football game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 24, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington (33) celebrates after scoring on a 22-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL football game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Ranking the 2016 Oakland Raiders 53-man roster, from the worst to best player that was on the active roster at the end of the season. Part 3.

In the second part of this series, we take a look back at the Oakland Raiders active 53-man roster by season’s end, and rank them from 53 to 1.

Part one included ranks 53 to 41, and can be viewed by clicking here.

Part two included ranks 40 to 31, and can be viewed by clicking here.

Part three is from 30 to 21. Let’s get right into it.

30. Austin Howard

The battle at right tackle between Austin Howard and Menelik Watson the last few years has been the same story each year — Menelik earns the job with superior play but can’t stay healthy, and Howard ends up starting the majority of the games.

2016 was no different. Howard was once again beat in training camp, but moved back to his starting spot after Menelik went down with yet another injury. And like most of his tenure in Oakland, he had an up and down season. He appeared in 11 games in 2016, and started 10 of those.

Howard played through an injury for most of the season — a torn labrum and rotator cuff, to be exact. He announced as much on Twitter, and had surgery not too long after the season ended.

So to be fair to Howard, this could be used as valid excuse for his inconsistencies throughout the course of the season. While most fans want him gone, with $2.8M in dead money if released, expect him to be back next season.

29. Sean Smith

You never want to see a player who you signed to a four-year, $38 million contract this low on your roster rankings. But Sean Smith was an eye sore for the majority of 2016.

For the season, Smith had 40 tackles, 2 interceptions, 11 passes defensed. For the money he was given, you would expect better production. The most telling stat of all is his 999 receiving yards allowed, which was the second most in the entire NFL.

It is pretty obvious as to who was the most disappointing player on the Raiders roster was, and I am not sure its even close.

28. Malcolm Smith

Malcolm Smith was quietly a solid player for the Raiders in 2015, leading the team in tackles, and being decent in coverage.

However, 2016 was not quite the same. Although Malcolm still led the Raiders in tackles with 103, his performance was far too inconsistent. Smith was also god-awful in his attempt to cover any opposing offensive player. Pro Football Focus had Smith ranked 77th out of 83 qualifying linebackers in terms of coverage.

It would be nice to see the Raiders move on from Malcolm Smith, but with practically no depth at linebacker, it would not be shocking to see Smith back in Oakland on a cheap one or two year deal.

27. Brynden Trawick

One of the more pleasant surprises of the season was Brynden Trawick. Signed in the offseason as a special teams ace, Trawick lived up to that (and then some) in 2016.

But even beyond special teams, Trawick proved his value to the team. With Karl Joseph already out and Nate Allen also going down with an injury, Trawick filled in admirably in Week 17. He was against Denver’s run game and also showed his chops in coverage.

Trawick is absolutely a player the Raiders should bring back in 2017 and beyond.

26. Stacy McGee

Another surprise from 2016 was Stacy McGee. Heading into the final year of his rookie contract, McGee would need to prove himself in order to get a new deal with either the Raiders or any other team as a free agent.

McGee proved to be the Raiders’ best interior pass rush for the season. He had 17 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles in nine games.

Although he spent some time on the injury report, McGee definitely flashed some potential. It would be smart of Reggie McKenzie to retain Stacy McGee’s services for 2017, and possibly beyond.

25. David Amerson

After being picked up off of waivers, David Amerson had quite the season in 2015. Good enough to warrant a hefty payday via a new four-year deal.

But like his counterpart Sean Smith, Amerson was underwhelming this past year. He definitely had his moments, but he often experienced the lows more than the highs.

For the season, Amerson totaled 64 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 16 passes defensed. Hopefully he can find his 2015 form next season.

24. Andre Holmes

Andre Holmes was the no. 4 receiver option for 2016, but that isn’t where his biggest contributions came. Holmes spent most of the year on special teams, and he was surprisingly good at it.

Holmes went on to become arguably the top gunner for the Raiders, and was one of the prime reasons that Marquette King had a breakout 2016 campaign.

As a pass-catcher, Holmes recorded 14 receptions for 126 yards and 3 touchdowns, reestablishing himself as a red zone threat.

Holmes is expected to hit free agency in 2017, but it would be wise of the Raiders to keep Holmes in Oakland for a little while longer.

23. T.J. Carrie

T.J. Carrie is a player who has had to earn his way for the majority of his career. After being benched in favor of D.J. Hayden, Carrie found himself as the teams fourth option at cornerback.

After Hayden went down, Carrie stepped right into the slot cornerback position and he showed how much better the Raiders pass defense was when he was out there. Carrie provided steady and consistent play from his position.

For the season, Carrie had 25 tackles, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, and 4 passes defensed.

22. Clive Walford

Named a breakout candidate for 2016, it seemed like Clive Walford was on his way to becoming a legitimate threat for the Raiders at tight end.

Through the first three weeks, Walford was on pace to take that step forward, and his numbers indicated just that. But when Week 4 came, Lee Smith broke his leg, which changed Walford’s role on the team for the rest of the year.

Walford was then transitioned into being more of a blocking tight end, as opposed to being a receiving threat. As a result, Clive’s numbers suffered. He totaled 33 receptions for 359 yards, and 3 touchdowns.

If all goes well in 2017, you can expect Clive Walford to have a much bigger contribution to the offense.

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21. DeAndre Washington

Drafted in the fifth round, DeAndre Washington was expected to fill the no. 2 running back spot, and be a complement option to Latavius Murray.

Washington definitely flashed that potential on multiple occasions, but was then passed up by fellow rookie Jalen Richard around midseason. After being inactive for a few weeks, Washington came back with a vengeance. His best career game came in Week 12, in which he had 12 carries for 99 yards and 2 touchdowns.

DeAndre completed the three-headed monster in Oakland, and was one of the many reasons the Raiders had one of the top ranked rushing attacks. For the season, Washington had 87 carries for 467 yards, 2 touchdowns, and also added receptions for 115 yards.