After trading down in the fourth round of the draft, the Raiders picked up two extra round 7 picks. One of the picks came at 242 overall and they used it to finally address the secondary with their 10th and final draft selection.
Dexter McDonald, CB, Kansas
6-1, 205 pounds
Pro Day results
Vertical jump: 40.5
Broad jump: 11'2"
Bench press: 10 reps
3-cone drill: 6.93
20-yard shuttle: 4.56
2014 12 starts, 35 tackles (28 solo), 13 passes defended, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble
2013 12 starts, 29 tackles (21 solo), 12 passes defended, 2 interceptions
2012 Played at Butler Community College
2011 No starts (7 games), 17 tackles (9 solo)
2013 All Big-12 Honorable Mention
After a breakout 2013 season, his first as a full time starter, McDonald came into the 2014 season with big expectations. He was on the preseason second-team All Big-12 by Phil Steele Magazine.
In the 2014 season, he did slightly improve his overall numbers, though both of his interceptions came in one game against Southeast Missouri which had him named Big-12 Defensive Player of the Week. Even though his pass breakups were fifth in the conference (they were 8th in conference as a Junior), he didn't land on any All-Conference teams as he had as a Junior. He also returned 2 of his 4 interceptions for touchdowns.
Originally from Kansas City Missouri, he was an All State first team selection out of High School. Unlike fellow Raiders draftee, Ben Heeney (5th round), and despite his roots in Kansas City, he said he was not a Chiefs fan growing up, though his mother was. So, no rival conversion needed.
After redshirting a season in 2010, McDonald played one season at KU before heading to play a season in Junior College, and then returning as a full time starter for the Jayhawks his Junior season.
He has enticing speed and size, but his technique needs work. He often struggled to shadow receivers on comeback routes and had a tendency to bite on fakes and draw pass interference penalties. These factors contributed to him falling into the seventh round.
He was targeted 63 times last season, giving up 30 catches (48%).
How he fits with Raiders
He joins a young group of corners with a chance to compete for a roster spot and playing time. The starting spots are currently occupied by D.J. Hayden and T.J. Carrie, but the nickel corner job is very much up for grabs. The team would like last year's 4th round pick, Keith McGill to get that job, but he will have to earn it.
He is a press corner and refers to himself as an aggressive corner. That along with his good size fits well with the corners the Raiders typically employ. As can sometimes be the case with larger corners with his physical abilities, he could also translate to safety if need be. With Charles Woodson is likely his final season and Nate Allen basically in a try out season, the Raiders will be looking for a starter and depth at safety by this time next season.
If McDonald needs proof to show he will get every opportunity, he need only look at T.J. Carrie who was one of the team's seventh round picks last year. He came in with only expectations of upgrading the return game, and ended up being one of their top corners as a rookie.
McDonald will have his opportunity to get playing time on defense, but he will earn his place on the roster in coverage and blocking on special teams, something he didn't do in his Junior and Senior season at Kansas, but had done in his first two seasons of college football.