Once upon a time the Oakland Raiders were a team you just didn’t throw the rock against. On one side of the field was the game’s best shutdown corner in Nnamdi Asomugha. On the other side was a ballhawking corner named Stanford Routt.
That seems likes a decade ago after Oakland’s secondary was sliced and diced in 2011. Aso took his talents to Philly before last season began and Routt lost his job by season’s end.
The entire world knew the Raiders couldn’t possibly replace Nnamdi. But they could have at least tried.
Al Davis gave Routt a raise, drafted two rookies and let nature take its course. We saw the results. Chris Johnson was a complete non-factor no thanks to injury. DeMarcus Van Dyke shows some potential but he’s still got plenty of work to do. Chimdi Chekwa had an abbreviated rookie season that showed some skill but also displayed how much further he has to go.
Thus far Reggie McKenzie has at least done what Oakland failed to address last season, namely signing a couple of proven vets. Nobody expects Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer to return the Raiders to defensive dominance but they certainly can help to tutor Oakland’s young DBs.
Among the many needs the Raiders must address in the upcoming draft will be the secondary. With only a handful of late round picks the silver and black scouts must get creative. That’s why we’re taking a look at a late round gamble with plenty of talent named Omar Bolden. He’s an athletic corner from Arizona State that should be available to the Raiders in the 3rd or 4th round.
Omar Bolden, CB, Arizona State
Strengths: Would be on Al Davis’ radar as Bolden is blessed with both speed and the ability to play bump and run. Has been clocked at 4.38 in the 40. Good technique and footwork, solid cover skills. Good ball skills and a knack for reading plays. Showed great strength for a corner at combine workout putting up 24 reps of 225. Also an asset on special teams both as a gunner and kick returner.
Weaknesses: Has plenty of injury concerns. Missed most of 2009 and all of 2011 with an ACL tear. Has second round skill but injuries dropped stock to 3rd round at best. Inconsistent play from game to game.
Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Chimdi Chekwa Chris Johnson DeMarcus Van Dyke Draft Preview Nnamdi Asomugha Omar Bolden Reggie McKenzie Ron Bartell Shawntae Spencer Stanford Routt