This time last year, the Raiders were sitting with a couple of safeties they hoped would be the long term answer in former top pick Karl Joseph and second year second round pick Obi Melifonwu. So, they re-signed 35-year-old Reggie Nelson and added a temporary patch in Marcus Gilchrist.
Melifonwu ended up not being able to get healthy while Joseph came on late in the season, offering some promise he could be the guy. But there’s the question of who starts at the other safety spot. One of these guys could be good answer.
Landon Collins, Giants
As far as I can tell, Landon Collins is exactly what the Raiders need. The 6-0, 218-pounder has been a Pro Bowler at the strong safety position the past three seasons and was named All Pro in 2016. He was Mike Mayock’s 2nd ranked safety out of Alabama in 2015 and has outplayed Damarious Randall who was ranked and drafted (30th) just ahead of him (33rd). Pairing him with Karl Joseph would have the makings of the Raiders best safety duo in years.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Washington
Speaking of former highly ranked Alabama safeties. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was Mayock’s number one safety prospect in the 2014 draft, going 21st overall to Green Bay. The 2016 Pro Bowler became a surprise trade to Washington last year.
Adrian Amos, Bears
Amos has been a starting safety for the Bears since day one when he was a 5th round pick out of Penn State in 2015. He’s also seen his numbers improve across the board the past three seasons. Starting every game last season, Amos recorded a career-highs in interceptions (2), passes defended (9), and combined tackles (73). He added an interception and 6 combined tackles in the Bears’ playoff loss to the Eagles. The 6-0, 214-pounder can play either safety spot which is good considering Paul Guenther moves his safeties around a lot.
Clayton Geathers, Colts
Geathers’ main issue has been injuries. The four-year safety hasn’t seen a full season since his rookie year in 2015. He was on the NFI list to start camp in 2016 and late in that season was placed on injured reserve. The next year saw him on the PUP list for all of training camp and half the season. He also missed four games last season to injury. He started all 12 games he was healthy last season and was among the better strong safeties in the league, putting up 89 combined tackles, a tackle for loss, 2 QB hits, and 3 passes defended. With his injury history, a one-year deal is all he would receive.