Oakland Raiders: Five dark horse players to make the 2014 roster

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Jun 11, 2013; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders cornerback Chance Casey (37) at minicamp at the Raiders Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chance Casey, Cornerback 

Like Johnson, Casey is a promising defensive back who spent time on the Raiders practice squad last season that will be looking to build on a year’s worth of practice in Oakland and grab a 53 man roster spot come the end of the preseason process.

Casey also played in a BCS conference during his collegiate career, playing for Baylor while getting on the field for all four seasons with the Bears and exploded onto the scene as a freshman getting two interceptions including one defensive touchdown before continuing to remain solidly productive through the years in Waco.

A strong tackler, Casey’s slow 40 yard dash time allowed him to fall into the Raiders hands as a UDFA despite the fact that Baylor started Casey for four seasons in the Big 12 which speaks to how polished the youngster who played both safety and cornerback with the Bears truly is. His 61 solo tackles for Baylor in his senior season speak to that tackling ability as with combined tackles Casey hit the 80 tackle mark in his final collegiate season which is staggeringly good for any defensive back in any conference considering the fact that on 61 of his 80 tackles Casey didn’t need much help from fellow players.

Stronger than he is fast, Casey’s future may still be at the safety position as many have projected this offseason when evaluating the defensive back prospect that many feel will be the top “sleeper” to breakout once the pads get put on this summer. Able to play both safety and cornerback with an edge and ability to tackle hard, something we saw on occasion during 2013 Preseason, Casey seems to have the inside track on a DB spot because of that versatility come the time to make cuts as defensive coordinator Jason Tarver is noted to enjoy having as much versatility as possible in his defensive players.

With Chimdi Chekwa getting exposed as an injury replacement in 2013 while Casey was on the practice squad it is easy to predict that Casey will have more than enough of an opportunity to crack the roster in his second camp with the Raiders. A sure tackler who brings an edge to his game that made him a fan favorite during last preseason, expect Casey to be one of the most popular “sleepers” once the pads get put on.