Cornerback (5): Gareon Conley, Rashaan Melvin, Nick Nelson, Leon Hall, Daryl Worley
The cornerback position was one of the worst units on the roster in 2017, and Gruden and company made sure to bring in some new talent for the 2018 campaign. Guys like Rashaan Melvin, Leon Hall, and Daryl Worley will be making their Raiders debut this season, as will 2018 fourth-round draft pick Nick Nelson.
This is a position that has a lot of players jockeying for a roster spot, but we like the team to keep these five guys, at least right now. Second-year player Gareon Conley should start opposite Melvin, but the slot corner job is going to be one to keep an eye on all summer long.
Nelson, who played his college ball at Wisconsin, is fully healthy for the start of training camp, and has incredibly solid coverage skills. Hall is rumored to be in the lead for the slot job entering camp, but the Raiders have been trying to add to this group recently, bringing in Bashaud Breeland for a visit, so any job will have to be earned over the next six weeks.
Safety (4): Karl Joseph, Obi Melifonwu, Marcus Gilchrist, Reggie Nelson
Karl Joseph was drafted in the first round by the Raiders, and the expectation is that he will really blossom into an solid player in 2018. He is going to be one of the starting safeties on this defense, but the other starting job is definitely up for grabs this summer.
Reggie Nelson has experience playing for Paul Guenther in Cincinnati, though he is definitely up there in age. Marcus Gilchrist is a solid NFL player, and will get a long look this summer, and is my pick to win the other starting job this preseason.
Obi Melifonwu is my dark horse to make the roster coming out of camp, and that is really saying something, considering he was a second round draft choice of the team only a year ago. He has yet to prove he can stay healthy, and with a bunch of player eying a roster spot this summer, he is going to have to work hard to even make the team.