Tuesday was a big day for the Las Vegas Raiders. In a scramble to get the roster down to 53 players, the Silver and Black spent all day making cuts. Of course, none of these cuts were more surprising than the ’21 first-round pick, Alex Leatherwood.
Just one day later, the team officially announced the members of their practice squad. They are as followed:
- Austin Walter, RB
- Bamidele Olaseni, OL
- Bryce Cosby, CB
- Chase Garbers, QB
- Cole Fotheringham, TE
- Curtis Bolton, LB
- Dillon Stoner, WR
- Hroniss Grasu, C
- Isaiah Zuber, WR
- Isiah Brown, CB
- Jordan Meredith, OL
- Matthias Farley, S
- Myron, Tagovailoa-Amosa, DE
- Zach VanValkenburg, DE
There are definitely some things to note with this group of players.
Austin Walter was perhaps the Raiders’ best player through the first two preseason contests. Walter totaled 89 yards and a touchdown, flashing extraordinary elusiveness and vision. In truth, had the Raiders not drafted two running backs, Walter likely would’ve walked onto the roster. Unfortunately for the 26-year-old, the Raiders’ running back room was too crowded, and he stood no chance.
Garbers played very well during the preseason, but two quarterbacks is simply the norm in today’s NFL. If Stidham wasn’t traded to Las Vegas, or at least didn’t perform so marvelously, there’s a chance Garbers could’ve beaten out the often flustered Nick Mullens to take the QB2 spot. That isn’t what happened, though.
You may remember Curtis Bolton – He’s the player that forced the safety against Teddy Bridgewater this preseason. On a play that was dead in the water from the start, the Dolphins’ veteran QB bootlegged into his own end zone and was soon met by Bolton. Bridgewater did manage to get the ball away at the last second, but it never reached the line of scrimmage. 2 points, Raiders.
Isaiah Zuber, the receiver, had his biggest play against the Patriots when he logged an interception. Yes – Zuber, the pass catcher, lined up as a safety and did his typical job; catching a pass, but from the other team. Unfortunately, Zuber never stood a chance in this receiver room. Not even the veteran duo of Keelan Cole and Demarcus Robinson made it out.
Tagovailoa-Amosa and/or VanValkenburg have a chance to play for the Raiders in 2022
The starting edge rusher duo in Las Vegas is incredible – after all, both of the starting players have earned All-Pro honors. The depth behind them, though, isn’t so great.
Pass rusher Kyler Fackrell was set to be the team’s first rotational edge rusher, but a trip to the Injured Reserves list ended both that plan and his entire season. Malcolm Koonce shows promise and Clelin Ferrell has flashed all the tools, but neither has proven to be consistent. Tashawn Bower had an immaculate preseason and made the 53-man roster as a result, but who knows what will happen in the regular season.
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If the depth behind the Raiders’ All-Pro edge rushers can’t produce early on, don’t be surprised to see VanValkenburg or Tua’s cousin, Tagovailoa-Amosa, grab a spot on the active roster.