Oakland Raiders: Full Position Breakdown and Depth-Chart Analysis at Cornerback

Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie will be lauded for his confidence or chastised for his stubbornness in handling the cornerbacks.

McKenzie decided not to arm his secondary with proven talent at the cornerback position in a pass-happy league. The Raiders' top three projected cornerbacks have a combined 15 starts, among them oft-injured leading cornerback D.J. Hayden. 

The Raiders weren’t strapped for cash, and they decided to wait until the seventh round to select cornerback Dexter McDonald out of Kansas who’s an undeveloped talent with potential. What gives, McKenzie? No solid plan B for a fragile inexperienced group still learning the game? I don’t know what the GM saw, but let’s take a look at who’s defending passes for the Raiders going forward:


Hayden Finishing on a High Note?

You'll hear a generic phrase pertaining to the No. 12 overall pick from the 2013 draft from optimistic Raiders fans and analysts who misled them. “Well, Hayden finished the season strong.” That’s not exactly the truth. Hayden surrendered six touchdowns in 10 games, which tied with eight other players—Hayden had the least number of snaps among those eight players, per Pro Football Focus. 

Some optimists say, he was picked on by the Denver Broncos late in the season. On the contrary, despite a 47-14 loss on the road to the Broncos in the season finale, Hayden didn’t give up a single touchdown in that game. He took his lumps in the first 41-17 blowout loss to the Broncos in Week 10 and against the Buffalo Bills in Week 16, giving up two touchdowns in each game. Let’s see exactly what happened on film:

Hayden is matched up against wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders at the top of the screen.

Sanders takes the route outside and beats Hayden with pure speed d...

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