One of Reggie McKenzie’s first moves as the Oakland GM was to let the world know how unhappy he was with the Raiders cornerback situation. Stanford Routt’s departure was a warning. Since then McKenzie has made it his mission to remove all of the corners he inherited in Oakland one roster move at a time.
Routt’s ridiculous deal was ripped up. Chris Johnson was given his walking papers. Lito Sheppard…well…likely wouldn’t even have been on and NFL roster last season were it not for the Raiders desperation.
But those were the veterans. Surely McKenzie was going to give his young corners an opportunity, right?
Yeah…he kinda did.
In the last two days McKenzie has removed the final two corners hand picked by Al Davis. Both DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa were 3rd and 4th round picks respectively in 2011 for the Raiders. Both have now been removed from the active roster just one year after being drafted and mere days after making the final cut.
Chekwa somehow found a place on Oakland’s practice squad after being cut loose. DVD, though yet to be officially announced as waived, will likely find work elsewhere on an active roster.
McKenzie’s decision to jettison every cornerback he inherited once again illustrates the new philosophy taking shape in Oakland. Both Chekwa and DVD were most noteworthy for their blazing speed. Neither was viewed as a top tier prospect coming out of college with Van Dyke being used as a nickel corner for his senior season at Miami.
The Davis way is going by the wayside. No longer will the stopwatch dominate an Oakland draft. No longer will players with potential be on scholarship. DVD has plenty of potential but failed to show any of it when it mattered most – on game days.
Going forward it will be interesting to see how McKenzie and Dennis Allen address their needs. Clearly the front office is looking for stopgap solutions while preparing for the future. A future that will look much different than the Al Davis inspired past.