Last week Sports Illustrated put together their list of the top slot cornerbacks and Raiders third year corner TJ Carrie made the list at number 8. This week they moved to the outside, where most of the league’s top corners reside and one of the newest Raiders made the top 10 list.
Sean Smith, who was signed as a free agent this offseason, came in at number 8 as well, but this list is a bit more prestigious as that means SI is basically saying they think Smith is the 8th best cornerback in the league overall.
If they want to, the Raiders could send a pair of 6’ 3” giants out to the boundaries in Week 1 between successful reclamation project David Amerson and Smith, the crazy-long free agency acquisition who will be expected to set the tone in a new-look Oakland secondary. The Chiefs’ stout front seven helped raise Smith’s profile, and the Raiders’ other off-season moves put them in position to replicate that sort of pressure and allow Smith to leave QBs even tighter windows.
Over three seasons in Kansas City, Smith has 5 interceptions and 46 passes defended. That’s an average of more than a pass defended per game. He’s also averaged 12.5 passes defended per season in his 7-year career.
Here are SI’s entire top 10:
1. Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks
2. Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals
3. Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo Bills
4. Darrelle Revis, New York Jets
5. Chris Harris Jr, Denver Broncos
6. Josh Norman, Washington
7. Vontae Davis, Indianapolis Colts
8. Sean Smith, Oakland Raiders
9. Desmond Trufant, Atlanta Falcons
10. Marcus Peters, Kansas City Chiefs
Notable players here are Chris Harris Jr, who also landed on the Top 10 list of slot corners in the number one spot, and Marcus Peters, Sean Smith’s former Chiefs’ teammate who was last the 2015 Defensive Rookie of the Year. Peters just slides in at number 10 — two spots below Smith.