Right now the Raiders have a competition going on for the team’s slot corner job. It pits incumbent slot corner TJ Carrie against former top pick DJ Hayden.
Carrie has the advantage of being a proven slot corner while Hayden is trying to find his place on the team entering the final year of his rookie contract.
In case you had any doubts about Carrie’s bona fides as a slot corner, Sports Illustrated put together their list of the top ten slot corners in the NFL and Carrie landed in the 8th ‘slot’.
Here is their entire top ten:
- Chris Harris Jr
- Patrick Robinson
- Kareem Jackson
- Brandon Boykin
- Patrick Chung
- Tyrann Mathieu
- Bryce Callahan
- TJ Carrie
- Malcolm Jenkins
- Captain Munnerlyn
As SI pointed out, Carrie allowed just 23 catches on 40 targets and 250 slot snaps last season while also playing a good bit of safety while Nate Allen was lost to injury. They added:
Whatever the Raiders do with him, they shouldn't deny his potential as an inside corner, especially since they have things sorted out on the outside with Sean Smith and David Amerson. Carrie is a big guy (6 '0", 206) with 4.4 speed who uses angles and aggressiveness to get things done.
Carrie is a local Bay Area product who burst onto the scene as a rookie out of Ohio in 2014 seeing four starts in 13 appearances. Heading into last season, he was considered arguably the team’s best corner in an overall weak unit. He ended up starting 14 of 15 games in which he appeared last season.
Should Carrie win the battle for the slot corner duties, Hayden will once again be buried on the depth chart, just as happened late last season when he had Amerson, Carrie, and Neiko Thorpe getting snaps ahead of him.