Reggie McKenzie said this offseason that the Raiders will be going with the young guys on the squad now heading into next season. Those young guys are led by 2013 first round pick D.J. Hayden, and 2014 picks Kieth McGill and T.J. Carrie. They also brought back Neiko Thorpe and signed reserve corner James Dockery in the offseason.
While they could probably get by with who they have if absolutely necessary, there are a lot of uncertainties among them and adding another solid corner to compete would be smart.
These are the corners in this year's draft who could land squarely on the Raiders draft radar and what round the Raiders would likely consider drafting them.
D'Joun Smith, Florida Atlantic - Rd 3
Scouts are nothing but impressed with Smith's skills as a corner. The two areas that have him available in the third round are level of competition and some early career concerns about dirty play which started in high school and continued into his sophomore season at FAU. From there, Smith turned things around. He stayed at school to earn his degree and has now turned what was dirty play into aggressive play to jam receivers at the line, fighting for the ball, and creating turnovers. The 5-10, 190-pounder has plenty of speed to go along with fluid movement and footwork. He had seven interceptions and 13 passes defended as a junior and as a senior opposing quarterbacks mostly stayed away from him.
Steven Nelson, Oregon State - Rd 4
Another aggressive corner who does well jamming receivers at the line and shedding blocks to make tackles. In fact he didn't miss a single tackle the entire season, according to College Football Focus. Once in coverage, he mirrors receivers well. The JuCo transfer had 8 interceptions and 24 passes defended in two seasons at Oregon State. At 5-10, 200 pounds, he has a solid build with adequate height. While he isn't a burner, he was top ten among corners at the combine in the 40-yard-dash, 3-cone, 20-yard shuttle, and 60-yard shuttle. He was also 4th among corners with 19 bench press reps.
Kevin White, TCU - Rd 5
"The other Kevin White" as he's known in this draft. He won't wow anyone with his size. At just 5-9, 180 pounds, he is seen as nothing more than a nickel corner. It's appropriate he compares well with Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett considering the two were teammates for the Horned Frogs. Though White hasn't quite shown himself to be the first round talent Verrett was. He had 13 passed defended and 2 interceptions last season with 32 passed defended and 6 interceptions over the past three seasons as a fulltime starter. He allowed just 44% completions last season which was among the best in the country for corners. He further proved his abilities by impressing during Senior Bowl week. All of which could mean he will go before the fifth round.