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Poll Position: Do Raiders have a need at cornerback?

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Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Into the home stretch as we check the pulse of the Nation as to what kind of need the Raiders have at each position. We look at cornerback this time, a position that has seen some of the greatest turnover from year to year over the past four seasons.

The Raiders have had a different set of starters at cornerback every single season the past four years. That is very likely to become five straight seasons come September.

So, let's take a look at the corners they have now shall we...

Tarell Brown (UFA)

A starter for the 49ers, he came to Oakland on a one-year deal. As they like to call it a ‘prove it' deal. While he wasn't terrible, he didn't do much to earn himself another contract. He had no interceptions and just two passes defended in 14 starts. It's unlikely he will return as it appears the Raiders are looking to get some of their young corners into the starting roles.

Carlos Rogers (UFA)

He and Tarell Brown starters opposite each other in San Francisco and both came to the Raiders on one-year deals. Rogers is past the ‘prove it' stage of his career. At the soon-to-be age of 34, he has reached the twilight years, so the team looking to go younger applies even moreso with him. He played well early on but only lasted seven starts before being lost for the season. This was always to be a one-year thing.

D.J. Hayden

Last year's first round pick (12 overall) broke his foot on the second day of OTA's in May and ended up on the regular season PUP list. He was activated in week 8 and started the final eight games of the season. He began the show some of the potential that had him chosen with the new regime's first first round pick, but his injury history is already concerning. First it was the abdominal surgery that had him in a non-contact jersey through his first training camp, then he was lost to a groin injury eight weeks into his rookie season. Add the broken foot and he hadn't had an actual practice in a full calendar year. The Raiders will again be hoping he can be the every day starter.

T.J. Carrie

As a rookie seventh round pick, he exceeding all expectations. One of the reasons he fell so far in the draft was his injury history which caused him to miss two complete seasons of college ball at Ohio. When he was drafted, the Raiders spoke only of using him as a return man. While he did play well returning kicks and punts, he was outstanding at corner. He appeared in 13 games - mostly as a slot corner - with 4 starts, finishing with one interception and 8 passes defended. I expect he will start opposite Hayden next season.

Keith McGill

While Carrie was showing up big time right out the gates, McGill was the higher draft pick (fourth round) and was struggling to find his way. He was out with injury for a stretch in the middle of the season. In total he appeared in 12 games but only recorded a stat in five of them, starting the season finale as an injury replacement. No telling what the future holds for him.

Neiko Thorpe

Was a pleasant surprise as a reserve future signing in the off-season. He earned a spot on the regular season roster, and though he saw the field sparingly, showed some good skills that could earn him more playing time next season. He is just 25 years of age.

Chimdi Chekwa

Has hung around on the Raiders for several years now but never really been able to keep a job. He has had his chances and always ends up getting replaced. He does his best work on special teams.

Taiwan Jones

Remember him? He transitioned from running back to cornerback (he has played both positions in college and high school). But for Jones, cornerback is really more of a title. He excels on special teams as a gunner and sometimes return man.

Chance Casey

Spent camp with the Raiders but didn't make the roster. He then was on the 49ers practice squad and late in the season the team re-signed him due to injuries. He'll get another shot to make the team out of camp.

Ras-I Dowling

Former second round pick by the Patriots was cut after two seasons, spent one season with the Jets before they let him go prior to the season. He spent most of the season on the Raiders practice squad and was called up for the final three game as an injury replacement.