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Saturday, August 30, 2008
Raiders: Cutdown analysis


Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Biggest surprise: The Raiders cut two young running backs who had played well. Undrafted free agent Louis Rankin and second year player Adimchinobi Echemandu were shown the door. Rankin had a nice preseason. Perhaps he will be on the list of players AFC West rival Denver looks at as it is sure to try to add a running back. Still, Oakland can't be blamed or letting both of these players go. It is stacked at running back with Darren McFadden, Justin Fargas and Michael Bush.

No-brainer: Seventh-round pick Chaz Schilens and young veteran Todd Watkins made the team. Both Schilens and Watkins were productive in camp and in the preseason and the Raiders are starving for receiver help. With fourth-round pick Arman Shields put on the injured reserve, Oakland will need both Schilens and Watkins to develop.

What's next: The Raiders need a receiver like Denver needs a running back. It wouldn't be a shock at all if Oakland claims a receiver off waivers Sunday. Oakland could look at a veteran receiver in the coming weeks. There is very little experience behind starters Javon Walker and Ronald Curry. Walker has been inconsistent in camp and Curry is coming off an injury.