Oakland fans, we are getting to the business side of the preseason, when we will have to be cutting the roster down to 53.
Over this time, fans grow a certain liking to certain players, but you cannot keep everyone in the NFL. In this article, I'll go over the five players I think will be the hardest to cut from the team.
An undrafted free agent out of Fort Valley State, King has shown that even if you're from a small school, you can still have a big-time leg.
King has great hang time on his punts, and he can get the ball down the field with his leg, but he needs to work on his consistency in the NFL. And with Shane Lechler—arguably the best punter in the NFL—on the squad, it will be very hard for King to make the team.
A running back from Fresno State, Lonyae Miller has started to show he has some ability to be a reliable backup running back, really improving against the Cardinals last weekend after coming up short in the first preseason game.
However, Miller could be cut to make room for another back. What makes it tough is that he has been there all preseason with the team and knows the offense already.
Will bringing in another player be the smartest decision, or will the Raiders elect to keep Miller?
Dominique will be tough to cut because he clearly he has upside as a defensive tackle.
Hamilton is a solid run defender with the ability to improve as a pass-rusher. Add in his humor on Twitter, and it's easy to see why Dominique is a fan favorite.
The play of rookie Christo Bilikudi and Jamie Cumbie have likely pushed Hamilton off the squad, so being cut is likely, tough it will be a tough decision for the Raiders.
A California native out of BYU, Tonga has been with the Raiders since 2010, mostly on the practice squad. He was activated last year for three games and became the power fullback, with Marcel Reece coming in on certain situations.
In free agency, the Raiders added another fullback in Owen Schmitt. Schmitt has already shown to be the better lead blocker and with matchup nightmare Marcel Reece also at fullback, the Raiders could let Tonga go.
Any of the Wide Receivers
I could name a receiver, but all the wideouts we have on the roster are crucial at the moment. With injuries to last year's breakout rookie, Denarius Moore (hamstring), and the speedy Jacoby Ford (Ankle), any receiver the Raiders let go will be tough knowing we have a lot of injuries at the position, and the amount of hits receivers take in the West Coast offense.