Starters: Sean Smith, David Amerson
Depth: Gareon Conley, TJ Carrie, Antonio Hamilton, Dexter McDonald, Kenneth Durden, Breon Borders, Chris Humes
Departures: DJ Hayden
Additions: Gareon Conley (D-1)
The first season with Sean Smith and David Amerson starting on the outside for the Raiders was not a rousing success to say the least. Both were coming off solid 2015 campaigns – Smith with the Chiefs and Amerson in his first season in Oakland aftger being claimed off waivers from Washington.
A lot was expected from these two big corners, but the result was a lot of getting burnt for big plays downfield.
The result was a coaching shuffle with Marcus Robertson let go, and John Pagano coming over from the Chargers to, as he said, try and help the communication in the secondary.
Corner is also where the team looked with their top pick in the draft, selecting Gareon Conley out of Ohio State. Leading up to the draft, Conley was being discussed as a potential target in the top half of the first round. But a sexual assault allegations scared some teams away, causing him to drop. The Raiders, feeling like they had done their research on Conley, made him their selection and he is expected to immediately step in as the team’s slot corner.
The slot corner spot was where TJ Carrie was lining up much of last season and in previous seasons as well. The team gave DJ Hayden one last shot by moving him to the slot, but it wasn’t successful. Then Hayden was injured and ultimately was allowed to sign elsewhere as a free agent.
The remainder of the corners will battle it out for what figures to be the final cornerback spot on the roster. Hamilton and McDonald return, again hoping to crack the roster. Durden spent last season on the practice squad. Borders and Humes are undrafted rookies.
Condition: Touch and go
Spending a first round pick on a cornerback may be just what the Raiders need to stabilize this group. Conley can play inside or outside, so he can take the slot and if either Smith or Amerson struggles again, they could try Conley as a starter. Carrie is a great option as a dime corner or spot fill-in. The one thing that keeps this position from being stable is the uncertain status of Conley’s sexual assault case. At this point no news is good news, but until we hear for sure one way or the other, there is no way anyone can speak with any certainty on it. Besides that, how sure are we that a DB coaching change and a first round rookie is going to solve the problems with this 24th ranked pass defense?
Also see the condition of: Quarterback, Running back, Wide receiver, Tight end, Offensive tackle, Offensive guard, Center, Nose tackle, Defensive interior, Edge rusher, Inside linebacker, Safety
What condition do you think the Raiders cornerback position is in?
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Touch and go