Raiders Sleeper Cell: DB Chance Casey

Levi Damien

Chance Casey didn't see the field much last season. But that doesn't mean he isn't sleeper material. This undrafted free agent defensive back out of Baylor wasn't even a priority signing. He didn't sign with the team until May 13. He came into rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis and earned his right to be signed. He continued to earn it after that.

Casey was a four-year starter at Baylor. He fell out of favor with the NFL most likely because of his subpar 40-yard dash (4.5) and injury issues. But there was never a doubt about his aggressiveness and tackling abilities.

This 5-11, 190 pounder was always around the ball carrier making big hits and racking up tackles. He played both safety and corner for the Bears. His abilities translate more to safety while his size would have him leaning more toward corner. This tweener status was another reason the NFL wasn't especially interested.

Once the Raiders hit camp, Casey was showing the kind of skills that earned him a spot on the camp roster. Even while the players were not allowed to hit, he was showing some very impressive cornerback skills, shadowing receivers and knocking down passes. He began camp running with the third team and by the time camp was over, he was working with the second team with the occasional look with the first team.

Casey didn't make the roster out of camp but that doesn't mean much. The team knew they would stash him on the practice squad and that's just what they did. He was called up to the active roster on December 7 and appeared in two games near the end of the season.

The Raiders opted for Phillip Adams and Chimdi Chekwa as injury replacements later in the season and the results were not good. I wouldn't be shocked if neither of them were back in camp with the Raiders. In fact, there is set to be a great deal of turnover in the secondary with just Casey among just two active roster cornerbacks currently still under contract - D.J. Hayden is the other.

This is the ultimate sleeper pick because there are a lot of people who don't even know who Casey is, let alone that he was actually on the Raiders' active roster at any point. With the secondary wide open combined with the skills I saw from him last camp, he has a very good chance of not only making the team next season but climbing the depth chart a few spots.

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