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
While fellow 2014 NFL Draft pick TJ Carrie has been impressing during Oakland Raiders practices at 2014 Training Camp in Napa, fourth round selection Keith McGill’s first camp with the Raiders is starting off slower than expected as a player many have high expectations for has lacked the flashy plays that draw positive attention during the team’s first two padded practices.
McGill sat out of the Raiders first two unpadded practices after picking up an ankle injury during the conditioning testing before practices began, but according to CSN Bay Area’s Raiders insider Scott Bair that ankle may still be bothering McGill who currently isn’t impressing Bair who feels that the Utah Utes fourth rounder is more of a “project.”
Bair’s report will surely disappoint many Raiders fans who have high hopes that the 25 year old who has drawn some comparisons to the “New Age” of cornerbacks, including high praise from former NFL quarterback Chris Simms, surrounding the physical attributes of the 25 year old McGill who may not be the prospect who ends up earning the most playing time out of the 2014 draft picks at cornerback with the Raiders.
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Many have suggested that the size of McGill may be better suited to playing safety, but it is far too soon to give up on a fourth round pick at his natural position. After all the team felt good enough about McGill to select him, which means that they will likely give him at least a rookie season to prove his abilities at his natural cornerback role before deciding to move him to safety once veteran Charles Woodson decides to hang up his cleats.
With Carrie playing well and drawing rave reviews, as well as former Auburn cornerback Neiko Thorpe commanding some first team reps on Monday it is looking like McGill’s stock is dropping ever so slightly during the first week of training camp practice. There is a chance that McGill has been slowed by an ankle injury over the last two days, but for now there are at least whispers that the Raiders seventh round pick could provide more of an immediate impact than McGill despite the early hype surrounding him. In a best case scenario McGill will start to impress and the Raiders will have two promising rookie cornerbacks coming through the draft, but for now TJ Carrie looks to be winning the early battle of rookie corners.
Editor’s Note: McGill played safety during JUCO as well as during his first season at Utah in 2011 before moving to cornerback to finish his collegiate career.