Oakland Raiders Week 1 Stock Report
The first regular-season edition of the Oakland Raiders stock report features some key reserve players who should contribute heavily or not at all in Week 1.
The Raiders released their unofficial depth chart with few surprises in the pecking order of players at each position.
Placing second on the depth chart doesn’t mean minimal production with coaches making adjustments and substitutions through four quarters of competition. Each player who made the roster must take the field ready to contribute when called upon.
The following players have either unexpectedly risen or fallen based on their depth position or their prospective roles heading into Week 1.
Matt McGloin: Stock Up
The No. 2 quarterback is the most popular player on the roster when the starting quarterback struggles over a period of time.
Matt McGloin won the backup quarterback role in a competition with Christian Ponder during the offseason. Oakland subsequently released Ponder, leaving McGloin as the last man standing behind starter Derek Carr.
Carr didn’t have an impressive preseason, albeit against starters, but it’s hard to ignore McGloin’s production against the backups.
Carr earned his starting job playing well against backups during last year's preseason, so we shouldn’t totally overlook crushing second- or third-string defenses.
Nonetheless, it’s clearly Carr’s job heading into Week 1, but early signs of struggle could shift eyes to McGloin.
The Raiders have fallen into obscurity for an extended period. Every year, fans are told to wait until next year, and next year seemingly never arrives.
Success in today’s NFL game hinges on solid quarterback play. If Carr struggles in the first two games at home, doubters will cite McGloin’s preseason performance as a reference to sparking the offense.
Seth Roberts: Stock Up
One of Carr’s potential targets at wide receiver rose up from anonymity. Wide receiver Seth Roberts put together an impressive preseason that catapulted him into the No. 3 wide receiver spot on the depth chart, ahead of Rod Streater and Brice Butler.
Roberts isn’t going to wait his turn as he skips the line as a potential crucial contributor a year after coming off the practice squad.
He’s a deep threat with the ability to stretch a five-yard catch into a 30-yard dash for a touchdown. The ability to break tackles and avoid defenders goes unnoticed. According to Pro Football Focus, he managed to break five tackles in four games as a wide receiver.
Roberts brings a dynamic mixture of skills that justifies his spot as the No. 3 wide receiver heading into Week 1.
Keith McGill: Stock Down
Cornerback D.J. Hayden’s job might have been on the line heading into the offseason, but no one claimed the No. 2 position in the preseason. The Raiders stuck with the status quo, and Hayden lists as the No. 2 cornerback opposite T.J. Carrie.
Keith McGill took some snaps during organized team activities and mandatory minicamp in the summer. However, he failed to impress the coaching staff enough during exhibition to unseat Hayden as a starter.
McGill likely missed the opportunity to start in Week 1 by a thread. He started the preseason finale opposite Hayden and surrendered a 63-yard touchdown pass to Seattle Seahawks rookie wide receiver Tyler Lockett.
How did one play destroy the second-year cornerback’s chances at starting?
McGill played sparingly in Weeks 2 and 3 (22 snaps). Then, he allowed an early touchdown after returning from a light workload, which hurt his stock tremendously.
Clive Walford: Stock Down
Tight end Clive Walford's stock drops significantly due to an extended absence from the field. He showed a slight glimpse of his talent in Week 1 with two catches for 22 yards, but he sat out for the rest of the preseason.
Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave pointed out Walford’s absence as a detriment to himself more so than the team with depth at the position, according to CSNBayArea.com's Scott Bair.
“Well, missing Clive is significant for our team, for him personally,” Musgrave said. “It’s given more opportunities for Brian (Leonhardt) and Gabe (Holmes). The tight end position is doing a nice job for us.”
Head coach Jack Del Rio isn’t in the charity business. Walford must work his way into the rotation before cracking the starting lineup. He currently sits behind Mychal Rivera and Lee Smith in the tight end hierarchy.
Walford’s contributions in Week 1, if any, will hit the box score subtly. He'll impose minimal impact on the game as he adjusts to regular-season game speed.
Taiwan Jones: Stock Up
Oakland revealed a shocker on the offensive side of the ball with its unofficial depth chart, listing Taiwan Jones as the primary backup running back behind starter Latavius Murray.
Jones transitioned from cornerback to running back during the offseason. He intrigued Musgrave with his uncanny speed as a versatile weapon in the backfield, as reported by NBCBayArea.com's Doug Williams.
Initially, it seemed Jones would run the ball in a select package of plays, but that role likely extends beyond a designed package.
Marcel Reece’s role within the offense remains unclear. If he’s more of a pass-catcher than a ball-carrier, Jones likely receives an extended role out of the backfield.
The former cornerback may take five to 10 carries with blinding speed as a change-of-pace tailback.
All statistics are provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com and Pro Football Focus unless otherwise noted. Raiders' unofficial depth chart and transactions provided by Raiders.com. Preseason game statistics provided by NFL.com.
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