Early in camp it was DeMarcus Van Dyke that was drawing the most praise as the most improved player amongst the remaining Raiders still on board during the Reggie McKenzie takeover. But after two unimpressive showings in preseason games Van Dyke is looking nothing like a player McKenzie will claim as his own beyond this season.
Van Dyke is among the final gifts Al Davis left the franchise prior to his passing. For many it looked like Davis dialed up another stopwatch dandy as DVD didn’t do much in his rookie year to shatter any misconceptions.
The thing is, when you saw Van Dyke play there was no doubt he had all the tools. He’s fluid in coverage, moves like an NFL corner just fails to play consistently enough to be a reliable pro. The hope was DVD would blossom in his second season making either Ron Bartell or Shawntae Spencer one-year holdovers at cornerback.
The problem is DVD’s play on the practice field hasn’t translated to his performance during actual game competition. That means the Raiders are currently stuck where they started with no real future at cornerback. At least that’s how it would appear thus far. If Van Dyke can flip the switch and play up against Detroit on Saturday that could mean momentum going into the final preseason fling.
However should DVD continue his downward spiral it could mean not even making the roster. Nothing is guaranteed these days and Van Dyke’s scholarship was gone the second McKenzie arrived. Odds are the Raiders won’t wait around hoping for Van Dyke to develop if he can’t show something more. Grabbing a veteran corner off the scarp heap could be a preferred option over a player with plenty of promise but no follow through.