Raiders training camp preview: Cornerbacks

Raiders training camp preview: Cornerbacks
July 24, 2014, 10:15 am
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Brown will be a staple on the outside, while Rogers is probably best suited for slot corner.
Scott Bair

Editor’s note: Insider Scott Bair will be providing position-by-position breakdowns each day leading up to Raiders training camp. The full squad will report on July 23, with the first practice day scheduled for July 25. In this installment, Scott focuses on cornerbacks.

Who they have: Tarell Brown, TJ Carrie, Chance Casey, Chimdi Chekwa, DJ Hayden, Taiwan Jones, Keith McGill, Carlos Rogers, Neiko Thorpe, Jansen Watson

Who they lost: Phillip Adams, Mike Jenkins, Tracy Porter

Looking back: The Raiders fielded a new set of cornerbacks in 2013, with Jenkins and Porter starting and Hayden on the outside in the nickel package. Porter would swing from outside to the slot in those situations. That trio provided serviceable, yet unspectacular play for most of the season. When Hayden was lost to a groin injury after eight games, play suffered. A lack of depth – and decreased effectiveness from Jenkins and Porter – caused performance to wane later in the year.

Overall outlook: Jenkins and Porter bolted in free agency, leaving the Raiders to assemble the cornerback corps yet again. With ex-49ers in Brown and Rogers, they seem to have upgraded. Brown will be a staple on the outside, while Rogers is probably best suited for slot corner. In order to ensure proper arrangement, Hayden must have a solid preseason. He was hampered by an offseason injury expected to linger into training camp, which could impede his progress. The Raiders are thin behind the aforementioned trio despite the need for a solid No. 4 cornerback.

[RELATED: Woodson: If Hayden can't go, could be a 'big setback']

Camp competition: There are plenty of options to be the No. 4 cornerback, including Chekwa, a rookie seventh-rounder in Carrie and Casey. Chekwa would be the frontrunner heading in to camp, but several others could play their way into the mix with a solid camp. The Raiders will likely need a fourth corner to play significant snaps at some point this season, so that role will be important.