Jun 10, 2014; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders cornerback T.J. Carrie (38) and assistant defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
2. T.J. Carrie – Cornerback
Seventh round draft pick T.J. Carrie out of Ohio University is another young defensive back making waves. On Monday, he and Neiko Thorpe worked the first team together, which surprised many observers as Chimdi Chekwa, Taiwan Jones, Keith McGill and Carlos Rogers were all participating in practice. Carrie, of course, came into camp with slightly better name recognition, having been selected in this years’ draft and projected to compete for a spot as a kick and punt returner this year.
Carrie, at 6’0″ and about 206 lbs, is not quite as tall or long as Thorpe or fellow draft pick Keith McGill, but makes up for it with an impressive vertical leap (41″ at his pro day) and 4.40 speed. He has shown up well in coverage throughout camp already, taking advantage of the situation created by injuries to McGill and D.J. Hayden. With his shorter, sturdier frame, Carrie also has impressive upper-body strength for a cornerback, and matches up well with sturdier possession receivers. He projects well as a slot or nickel corner, but should his impressive vertical leap translate onto the field consistently, he will also be able to match up with outside receivers deep at the NFL level and compete for jump balls.