BREAKING NEWS: Oakland Raiders now have new Cornerbacks… Read moree
The Raiders invested heavily in the cornerback last offseason when they gave Sean Smith a four-year, $38 million deal and David Amerson a four-year, $33.9 million extension. They both underperformed.
Sean Smith got benched in the season opener and although he was better than that debut most of the time, he still got beat way more than you’d like for the money he was paid. And Amerson also wasn’t nearly as much of a lockdown defender as he was after coming to Oakland as a waiver claim in 2015.
The Raiders expect better from that duo, but Smith will turn 30 in July and the Raiders saw former first-round pick DJ Hayden leave in free agency and TJ Carrie, the presumed No. 3 corner at this point, is a free agent next year.
An ideal move for the Raiders would be to draft someone who can start out as the third/nickel corner and challenge both Smith and Amerson for the starting role if they struggle. Both veterans have no dead money after 2017, so the Raiders can easily move on and go forward with a youngster if they strike in this draft.
The Top Five
1. Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State (6-0, 193) — Despite playing only one full season after dealing with hamstring injuries his first two years, Lattimore is considered the No. 5 overall player in the draft by NFLdraftscout.com. Has recovery speed, adjusts quickly and is a sharp and willing tackler.
2. Kevin King, Washington (6-3, 200) — Oakland native and Bishop O’Dowd High product checks all the boxes as a long, lean press corner. Moved to corner after starting his college career at safety. Playing in one of the nation’s top defensive secondaries, King had a team-high 13 pass breakups in 2016.
3. Tre’Davious White, LSU (6-0, 202) — An All-SEC selection who broke up 14 passes in 2016, White has slot corner experience and could play immediately in that role. White’s number of pass breakups was impressive because he was targeted only 42 times all year. Considered best suited for teams that run a lot of man-to-man coverage.
4. Teez Tabor, Florida (6-0, 199) — May be the most natural corner in the draft in terms of footwork, ability to play press and off coverage and an aggressive mentality toward balls in the air. Led Gators with 10 passes defended and four interceptions. Scouts question his top-end speed and have taken note of behavior issues, including a suspension for the 2016 season opener.
5. Adoree’ Jackson, USC (5-10, 186) — Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s top defensive back, Jackson had five interceptions, 16 passes defensed and two forced fumbles. He can also step in immediately as a kick return specialist, whether it be punts, kickoffs or both, and is an explosive wide receiver in a pinch.