Las Vegas Raiders: Three Cornerbacks worth targeting in the First Round
Jeff Gladney -TCU
There is no better conference to test your coverage ability than in Big 12, and TCU’s Jeff Gladney proved to be the best corner in the conference this season.
If you want someone who doesn’t give up big plays, Gladney is your guy. According to the PFF, Gladney forced tight coverage on 79.5% of his targets 10-plus yards downfield. That was sixth-best in the country, and for a team like the Raiders who were 4th worst in passes over 20+ yards and dead last in plays of 40+ yards, this is a needed ability.
Gladney combine was a bit confusing considering what he shows on the field, which is excellent long speed and explosiveness. He only tested above average in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, and broad jump. He did, however, make Bruce Feldman’s freak list not only for athleticism but for his strength, which is apparently incredible for his size (5’10, 191lbs).
Now even though Gladney did get a lot of reps playing in the Big 12 as an outside corner, his size might be a concern in the NFL. For someone who is reportedly very strong, Gladney isn’t the best a rerouting receivers at the line of scrimmage. He is also someone who trusts his ability to recover a lot and might sit on routes with no fear of getting beat deep.
His play speed is great, but trying that too many times could get him in trouble at the next level. He also tested in the 3rd percentile in the 3-cone drill at the combine, so the change of direction might be a serious concern.
The Raiders will very likely be in a position to take Gladney at #19, so then it will come down to how high they have him on their board. With them addressing the linebacker position very early in free agency and if guys like Okudah, Henderson, and Fulton are gone, Gladney is next up.