Cornerback is one of the more interesting positions for the Las Vegas Raiders heading into the 2020 season.
They have some young players at the spot and it is far from their biggest problem on defense. Yet, there are rumblings that the Raiders are prepared to use a sizable chunk of their $50 million-plus in salary-cap room at the position.
According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders have interest in Dallas Cowboys’ cornerback Byron Jones. He is one of the top free agents on the market and he will cost plenty, but the Raiders proved last year that they are not afraid of spending big in free agency.
So, perhaps Las Vegas will be in on Jones. It has been reported that the Raiders would like to weaken their AFC West foe, the Denver Broncos, by signing cornerback Chris Harris. He has had a great career, but he may nearing the end of it as he turns 31 in June. So, Harris will likely be less expensive than Jones, who is 27.
If the Raiders are looking at Jones and Harris, they probably are considering other free-agent cornerbacks as well. Among them could be Carolina’s James Bradberry, Tennessee’s Logan Ryan and Minnesota’s Trae Waynes.
The draft is also full of interesting possibilities and the Raiders have been mocked often to take a cornerback at either No. 12 or No. 19 .
Clemson’s A.J. Terrell also could be an option. We all know how Mike Mayock loves those Tigers.
And, apparently, Jon Gruden was blown away by Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah at the combine. However, getting Okudah would likely require a trade up to the top 3 to 5 picks.
The interest in cornerback naturally lends us to wonder if Gruden and Mayock are not high on their current crop of corners.
They are high, however, on 2019 second-round pick Travyon Mullen (pictured top), yes, another Clemson product. Mullen showed enough flashes as a rookie to make some believe he could be an above-average No. 1 cornerback. So, pairing Mullen with a top free agent or a another draft pick could set the tone for Las Vegas’ defense for years to come.
Daryl Worley is a free agent and he’s just so-so, anyway. Nevin Lawson is a decent rotational veteran and the team has high hopes for 2019 fourth-round pick Isaiah Johnson. He was injured as a rookie.
So, there’s some pieces in this current group with Mullen being the centerpiece. But reading through all the smoke, it looks like Gruden and Mayock are looking to make another big addition at the position.