Oakland Raiders 2015 Preseason Primer

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Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders free safety Charles Woodson (24) prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


The defensive backs for this team are pretty straight forward. Many people thought the Raiders should have gone after a corner in free agency. If you read my work I said time and time again that it would be foolish and considering what the Eagles paid for Byron Maxwell, I would prefer seeing the young guys play, but provide them a pass rush. Although DJ Hayden had a time or two where he was being questioned as a starter in mini camps, when the defense finally stepped up in 11 on 11 drills, it was Hayden making the splash plays. He will never be a shutdown cornerback, but he can be a very good playmaker. His success will not be based on how many catches he gives up, but rather how many turnovers he forces.

The other starting cornerback will likely be TJ Carrie, however considering his role on special teams, they may want to limit his snaps to the three wide receiver sets only. In this case, second year corner Keith McGill would get those snaps. The key distinction here is McGill will only play as a boundary cornerback while Carrie can play both inside and outside.

The safeties are fairly straightforward. Woodson and Allen will both start and that is a decent duo. Woodson will stay closer to the line of scrimmage and Allen will likely play more center of the field coverages where he can read and react. With a second question @JSwearway asked me to predict the depth chart of safeties.

Since I believe they consider the two positions relatively interchangeable by scheme and personnel, the backup safeties in order would go Rosss, Dowling, and then Asante. I am a huge fan of Jonathan Dowling and I believe he will make a huge jump. I am predicting the defensive backs produce 15 or more turnovers.