Five Oakland Raiders Rookies Who Will Breakout in Training Camp

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Jun 10, 2014; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders cornerback Keith McGill (39) at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1. Keith McGill – CB

McGill may be my safest pick on this list, and the most obvious.  McGill is nearly a shoe-in for the 53 man roster, as he is the biggest and most physical cornerback on the roster and has some observers comparing him to Richard Sherman.  McGill, at 6’3″ and 211 pounds, had a number of character and injury questions coming into the draft, causing him to drop into the 4th round, but many scouts had him as high as the 2nd round.

McGill is a long, rangy defender who uses his height well and has an impressive vertical leap, meaning he can match up well with the larger, more athletic WR’s around the league with the proper coaching to correct some of his flaws.  He played in the PAC-12, meaning he faced complex passing attacks and quality wide receivers frequently, lining up against players such as USC’s Marqise Lee and Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks.  Despite being matched up against opponents’ primary receiving threats, opposing quarterbacks only completed 16% of their passes in McGill’s area.  McGill also has experience at free safety, as he was a JUCO All-American FS at Cerritos College and started five games as FS at Utah.  He also was effective as a gunner in kick and punt coverage for Utah, and it’s well-known that the best way to make an NFL squad if you’re “on the bubble” is to contribute on special teams.  His ability as a cover corner will also show in camp: he could frustrate a number of veteran receivers on the Raider roster (like Greg Little), and he will likely dominate other teams’ backup receivers in preseason games. Even if he doesn’t play well enough to start right away, his potential and upside may be enough that he makes the 53 man roster this year simply on the strength of what he could be.