On Monday the Oakland Raiders released their first depth chart of 2014 due to the August 8th preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings. Most of the positions went as expected, but there were some glaring surprises.
At weakside linebacker Sio Moore was listed in the number one spot despite Miles Burris taking most of the first-team reps thus far in camp. Moore has been banged up with a sore rib. Burris has been very impressive in camp.
Another big surprise was at the wide receiver position. Andre Holmes was listed above the experienced veteran James Jones who came over from Green Bay in the offseason.
Holmes was a top fifteen receiver amongst all NFL wideouts in the last five games of 2013. In those five games he had 366 yards receiving.
At the other wide receiver positions it was no surprise that Rod Streater is listed as the number one and Greg Little as the number two. It is safe to say Denarius Moore has slipped to number five on the wide receiver depth chart behind Little.
It may surprise some that Maurice Jones-Drew has been listed as the starter over Darren McFadden. Jones-Drew has looked very strong in camp with his power and speed. “In OTA’s, the running backs wanted to create a standard to be one of the best back fields in the league,” said Jones-Drew . “When Darren breaks a long run it makes your competitive juices flow, and it makes me wanna go, and vice versa. We want to be better as a group.”
The rest of the running back group is listed as Latavius Murray, Jeremy Stewart, Kory Sheets, and then George Atkinson III.
Rookie Khalil Mack has a strong hold at the strongside linebacker position followed by Kaelin Burnett.
The defensive line is as expected with Lamarr Woodley at right end and Antonio Smith at defensive tackle and Pat Sims at nose tackle and Justin Tuck at left end.
With DJ Hayden missing time with the fractured foot, Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers are the starting corners. Coach Allen did say on Monday that he does expect Hayden to be back sometime during the preseason.
Rookie TJ Carrie has impressed the coaching staff at cornerback and he is listed as the starting punt returner, above Denarius Moore and Greg Jenkins.