The Oakland Raiders will have two cornerbacks in Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter set to become free agents in March. They will also have safety Charles Woodson as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but they have made it clear they want him to return. With that being the case, Oakland will have their sights set on adding some defensive backs through the 2014 NFL Draft and free agency.
On the last day of the 2014 NFL Combine, the defensive backs were able to show their skills. With so many other positions of need, the Raiders will likely wait in the draft to grab some secondary help while planning on spending in free agency. Last year, they selected DJ Hayden in the first round. This year they will likely look to the third round or later to bolster those positions. If that is the case, it is a good year to execute that plan because the defensive backs are a deep and talented group in 2014.
During the combine on Tuesday, four defensive back cracked the 4.40 40-yard dash time. Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert, a consensus first round pick, was the fastest at 4.37. Rice's Phillip Gaines and TCU's Jason Verrett posted 4.38s. Ohio State's Bradley Roby clocked in at 4.39. Gilbert won't be in the plans for the Raiders unless they trade down. The other three fast 40 times are possibilities if they can last until the third round or later. In the 40-yard dash, 19 other players posted 4.55 or better giving the Raiders a jumping off point in evaluating the other prospects.
New defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson took the prospects through drills. He got some first hand information on quickness, foot speed, and catching ability. Being able to get that knowledge of the players will come in handy when the Raiders decide to pull the trigger in the draft.
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