For the better part of this decade, the Oakland Raiders endured problematic play from their corners. If they lacked a ballhawk, Sean Smith could not cover, something always happened. However, through decent drafting and free agency, the team finally began to assemble a quality unit that will compete. More importantly, the unit appears more athletic in previous years.
When Conley arrived in Oakland, the cloud of a rape accusation hovered. Yet, former general manager Reggie McKenzie believed. Now, with McKenzie in Miami, Conley needed to prove himself to Pual Guenther. After shaking off injuries that cost him his rookie season, Conley rebounded in 2018, tallying three picks, including one for a score.
When the Raiders tendered him as a second-rounder, many people seemed surprised. After serving a four-game suspension, you’d think the team would cut ties and move on. In contrast, they did the exact opposite. Worley fits the long-limbed corner that the Raiders prefer. Granted, he should hold onto his starting job for at least a little while, until Trayon Mullen claims it.
Upon his drafting, Mullen became the presumptive starter, opposite of Conley. Mullen, like Conley relies on on quick hands, twitch, and the ability to recover. On top of that, he does not shy away from contact. He will stick his helmet into the fray. While 2019 could see him rise to a starting spot, learning as a backup could be in the cards.
During his rookie season, Nelson occupied the slot. Although he looked competent, Nelson needs to fit into a rotational role. With so many teams deciding to use multiple receiver sets, Nelson will see clock time. He does need to improve his ball skills.
Although he sits far down the depth chart, Johnson’s skillset should intrigue fans. The Raiders see the former wideout-turned-corner as an intriguing prospect. With his size and speed, Johnson could see the field in a subpackage. However, until he earns that trust, he looks ticketed for special teams.
The Oakland Raiders bolstered their cornerback depth. In reality, this group could surprise. With the potential tandem of Mullen and Conley, the Raiders look ready for the journey through the division. Granted, Mullen will take his lumps. If Paul Guenther allows him to fight through a slump, he will emerge as an eventual star.