Starters: David Amerson, Sean Smith
Depth: TJ Carrie, Neiko Thorpe, DJ Hayden, Keith McGill, Dexter McDonald, SaQwan Edwards
Amerson was claimed off waivers from Washington after week two of last season and started the rest of the season for the cornerback deficient Raiders. Sean Smith was signed away as a free agent from the Chiefs this offseason. Carrie has started 18 games in two seasons since being selected in the seventh round of the 2014 draft. Hayden is entering his fourth season since the Raiders selected him with the 12th overall pick in the 2013 draft. Thorpe has played two seasons with the Raiders since the former CFLer was a reserve/future signing following the 2013 season. McGill was a fourth round pick out of Utah in 2014. McDonald was the team's final pick in last year's draft, appearing in 6 games last season. Edwards went undrafted in 2015 and spent time on the practice squad last season.
Condition: Touch and go
Cornerback was a top need this offseason. It was in downright critical condition. The team had David Amerson on one side and a mystery on the other. They solved that mystery with the addition of Sean Smith, giving the Raiders their starters.
Amerson had a breakout season in 2015, after giving up more catches than any other corner in the league in 2014, he was waived two games into last season. The Raiders picked him up on waivers and he has been a revelation ever since. The Raiders are hoping last season was a sign of things to come and not an anomaly. He is entering the final season of his rookie contract.
Sean Smith's addition can't be understated. He was arguably the top corner on the market and fills a gaping hole for the Raiders. He has started 100 games in his seven-year NFL career with the Dolphins and Chiefs. He had 9 interceptions and 76 passes defended over the past five seasons.
Carrie was quite a find in the seventh round of the 2014 draft. He worked his way into a starter as a rookie, and started 14 games last season, mostly at safety in relief of the injured Nate Allen. He is expected to be the team's slot corner this season.
After those three, it gets real dicey.
Hayden has been a huge disappointment as the new regime's first ever first round pick (12 overall) in 2013. First it was injuries, and now it's just poor play. The team appeared to have moved on from him last season and is unlikely to pick up his fifth year option. He will be fighting for a roster spot out of camp.
Thorpe has been strong special teams contributor over the past couple seasons and has stepped up to play quite a bit of defensive snaps. The team showed how valuable he was when they placed a second round tender on him as a restricted free agent.
McGill was selected in the 4th round of the same draft the Raiders grabbed Carrie in the 7th. He has at times in camp looked like he might get some playing time, and looked better than Hayden in last year's camp (though that's not really saying a whole lot). An imposing 6-3, 211 pounds, some believe a move to safety might be his best bet, though he is the same size as Sean Smith and the Raiders love big corners.
Edwards consistently showed up well in camp last year as an undrafted free agent out of New Mexico. If he can do it again, he could find his way onto the active roster this season.
Hard to say what to expect from McDonald at this point.
I could see the Raiders selecting a cornerback as high as their top pick at 14th overall if a player they like is on the board. If not, getting a cornerback somewhere in the top four rounds would be a good idea.