What makes an NFL draft class great is depth. You can grab an All-Pro in the first round but you can’t build a Super Bowl champion if you whiff on the next six picks. Of course if you’re the Oakland Raiders and you’ve only got five picks the first of which isn’t until #95 overall then building a winner through the draft becomes more of a challenge than a chore.
In order for the Raiders to get out of the middle of the road NFL standing they’ve got to improve that defense. No secrets there. Among the many needs this team has tried to address as best it could in free agency is cornerback.
Both Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer are quality pros but their one year deals indicate that a long-term solution is still being sought.
One of the great qualities veteran players bring to a roster is experience. That veteran experience will be vital in helping the young Raider DBs to improve and contribute. Even more so if the Raiders use one of their late round picks on a corner.
Dwight “Bill” Bentley is the type of prospect that could interest the Raiders in the upcoming draft. He’s a project for sure but a natural talent that if coached properly could become an asset to an NFL roster. Currently valued as a late 3rd to 4th round prospect here is the book on Bentley.
Dwight Bentley, CB, Louisiana-Lafayette
Strengths: Made a solid showing at the Senior Bowl. Outstanding athlete that ran a 4.43-second 40 at the combine. Four year starter with plenty of game experience. Excels in zone coverage with good instincts and reacts well to the ball in the air. Should be a valuable special teams contributor at the next level.
Weaknesses: Will have to improve in man coverage to be an every down corner. Has room for improvement in run support. Doesn’t have an NFL frame so size is a concern. Didn’t often face elite competition at Lafayette.