What are the Oakland Raiders biggest needs entering the bye?

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Sep 27, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson (29) runs the ball on Oakland Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden (25) during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Raiders won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback is a position that Reggie McKenzie just can’t seem to get right. Drafting T.J. Carrie in the 7th round was a major hit so McKenzie deserves plenty of kudos for that pick, but outside of that, it’s been awful.

I’ve been a D.J. Hayden advocate for some time now, but I’m getting ready to grab a pitchfork and join the angry mob.

In 2013, per PFF, Hayden ranked 93rd out of 110 cornerbacks. He was troubled by injury and didn’t get any time in camp, so some of his struggles were understandable. In 2014, Hayden 65th out of 108 cornerbacks. So while he improved, he still had a long way to go to live up to his draft slot.

So far this season, Hayden ranks 102 out of 107 cornerbacks. 69.2% of passes thrown his way have been completed. Unless he suddenly starts showing he is capable of being a #1 CB, or even a decent cornerback at that, the team is in desperate need of help at this spot.

Keith McGill was taken in the 4th round of the 2014 draft, and he’s been just as bad as Hayden. And free agents like Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown and Joselio Hanson have come and gone.

The cornerback position is in such rough shape that the team brought in David Amerson, who graded dead last amongst cornerbacks last season. Amerson was the only cornerback in the NFL last year to allow double-digit touchdowns when targeted.

Amerson has actually played well in spots, but bringing him on board was a pure flier and he isn’t much of a solution to the problem. Neiko Thorpe is the only other cornerback worth mentioning, but it’s clear this position is in obvious need of help.

The biggest names to look out for in free agency are Josh Norman, who’s been perhaps the best CB in the league this year and isn’t likely to leave Carolina, and Prince Amukamara.

The upcoming draft class is loaded with CB talent. Jalen Ramsey and Vernon Hargreaves are the two standouts, and Mackenzie Alexander is another name to lookout for.

Next: Roster Need #3: Inside Linebacker