12. Reggie Nelson
After spending the last five seasons with the Bengals contending in the AFC North, safety Reggie Nelson made the decision to come to Oakland to fill the cleats of one of the greatest players of all-time in Charles Woodson. A decision that also came with a two-year, $12 million contract for the 32-year-old Nelson.
Nelson is being brought in to shore up a Raiders secondary that has been one of the worst in the NFL in recent years, Nelson joining Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith as highly paid additions that Reggie McKenzie hopes will answer the team’s problems in pass coverage. A significant investment being made to ensure that the Raiders will be better at defending the pass in 2016 as they make a run at the postseason.
A physical, playmaking safety that has the experience of playing in the AFC North and the playoffs with the Bengals, Nelson is a welcome addition to the Raiders secondary. At 32, there are concerns for a decline for Nelson, but with eight interceptions in 2015 there are no signs that the new Raiders starting safety will be slowing down anytime soon.
– Chase Ruttig