After the linebacker and receiver groups, the position that needs the most attention is cornerback. The Raiders currently have only one corner on the roster who is good enough to be a starter in Trayvon Mullen. The former Clemson Tiger came on strong in the end of the 2019 season and looks to be a foundational piece for the defense. The Raiders will reportedly allow Daryl Worley to test free agency and if he signs elsewhere they will need to address the position early in the draft.
If the Raiders do use one of their first round picks on Alabama’s Trevon Diggs as some mocks have predicted, it will be the third time since 2013 that they will have used one on a cornberback. The last time a Raiders cornerback lived up to his high selection was Nnamdi Asomugha though Mike Mitchell makes an interesting case. More recent picks DJ Hayden and Gareon Conley didn’t even finish out their full rookie contracts so recent history is not on the Raiders’ side.
A number of quality cornerbacks are available in free agency with Byron Jones, James Bradberry, and Chris Harris being the best of the bunch. Jones is the true prize and the Raiders will hope that his experience with Rod Marinelli in Dallas will help convince him to come to Las Vegas. That and a big bag of money. Bradberry and Harris would be nice consolation prizes but at 31-years-old, Harris would most certainly be brought in on a more short-term deal while both Bradberry and Jones could be long-term pieces.
Free agency seems to be the clearer path to building the position up especially with the lack of a second round pick and there are a number of other options available such as Eli Apple or Kendall Fuller who are both still just 25. With so much turnover at the position and the need to have at least four quality corners in this pass-happy era a few signings may be required. If the Raiders hope to slow down the Kansas City passing attack and challenge for the AFC West title then some serious cash needs to be spent addressing the position.