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Projected Starters: K Sebastian Janikowski, P Marquette King, LS Jon Condo, KR Kory Sheets, PR TJ Carrie
Sebastian Janikowski, Marquette King and Jon Condo are all locks for their positions.
Condo remains one of the NFL's best long snappers, and King has quickly established himself as an elite punter. In fact, he finished 2013 with an average of 48.9 gross yards per punt, good for the best average in the entire NFL.
Both have exhibited the same level of play in 2014, ensuring the Raiders won't have to worry about either position.
Janikowski has consistently had one of the strongest legs in the league, but he hasn't always had the accuracy to match. When he's on, he's one of the best kickers in the NFL, and he was accurate in his first preseason action against Detroit. As long as he can keep that up, the Raiders will have one of the best kicking games in the league.
Oakland does have an interesting competition at kick returner and punt returner. There's a long list of players the coaches have taken a look at in practice and in games. Of this group, running back Kory Sheets and cornerback T.J. Carrie have been the most impressive.
Sheets is a very intriguing player. He finds himself in a position group that's already set with Jones-Drew and McFadden atop the depth chart. At best, he's looking to become the Raiders' third running back, but even that spot's been reserved for Latavius Murray, a player the Raiders have very high hopes for.
However, Sheets has played well in the preseason, and the team will look for ways to keep him and use him. Kick returning is a way to make this happen, and Sheets has shown that he can excel in the role. Against Detroit, he averaged 25.8 yards per return on two attempts.
ESPN's Paul Gutierrez still sees Sheets as a long shot to make the final 53-man roster, but Sheets excelling in multiple roles could be the difference.
Although listed as a cornerback, Carrie was actually brought in for his skills in the return game, and he's shown why. Against Detroit, he averaged 31.5 yards per punt return, including an impressive 48-yard return.
The dilemma Oakland faces is that Carrie has performed much better than expected at cornerback, and he's worked himself into the rotation at the position, per Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Gate. He was already being considered for significant playing time at cornerback, and this is now a guarantee given the injuries and overall disappointing performance at the position.
The Raiders could decide that they need him more at corner, meaning they won't want to risk injury. But for now, he's Oakland's best option for punt returns.
Unless otherwise noted, all stats taken from ESPN.com. All references to the depth chart taken from Raiders' official site.