Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders cornerback Keith McGill (39) celebrates after a touchdown in front of cornerback D.J. Hayden (25) and strong safety Brandian Ross (29) in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Oakland Raiders’ Reggie McKenzie has been one of the most active GMs in the league during the 2015 free agency period. He’s bolstered the offensive and defensive lines, added some running back competitions, and filled in the defense at linebacker & safety. One glaring area of team which has thus far been omitted is adding any help at cornerback. Last season, Reggie brought in veteran corners Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers from San Francisco to lead a group of otherwise mostly young, undeveloped, injury prone athletes. This season, the veterans are nowhere to be found.. and Just Blog Baby has definitely noticed.
The Raiders’ coaching office is very aware of their situation at cornerback, with even Head Coach Jack Del Rio noting that developing the young cornerbacks is a key area of focus this offseason. However, the Raiders organization is more optimistic about their young talent than some of the fans are. While some of that might be Del Rio’s confidence in his DB coaches Marcus Robinson and Rod Woodson, it’s not entirely unlikely there’s actually some merit to the notion that the Raiders’ young cornerbacks might be able to play closer to the flashes of talent they displayed at times last season and in their college careers.
Last season we caught a glimpse at 4 Raiders’ DBs sure to be the core of this developing group (outside of a random Draft Day turn resulting in a Trae Waynes type joining the team). DJ Hayden and TJ Carrie are the expected starters while at present it seems Keith McGill and Brandian Ross will fill in at rotational and slot cornerback spots. Examining their very limited sample size of playing time might not be perfect but it can give us a clue into the minds of the coaching staff and front office as they prepare for the upcoming season with their stable of young corners.
Next: Keith McGill & Brandian Ross