Position battles: Raiders’ Sean Smith and Gareon Conley

PFF recently shed light on a position battle between two Raiders’ corners.

The cornerback position for the Oakland Raiders suddenly finds itself infused with young talent. After addressing the gaping hole by drafting Gareon Conley, the rookie corner finds himself in an upcoming position battle, with Sean Smith no less as PFF recently shared via Twitter.

PFF was quick to point out that Smith has 7,576 snaps in the NFL since 2009, clearly experience is certainly on his side. However, Raider Nation couldn’t care less about his “experience” if it means receivers will continue to burn him. It got so ugly last season that Raiders’ legend Charles Woodson called out the inundated cover corner.

Despite the solid play by David Amerson (15 games started, two interceptions, 16 deflected passes and 56 tackles) the backfield sorely needed reinforcements, especially if the team was serious about a Super Bowl run. Gareon Conley figures to be that missing piece and even Philip Robinson was quick to point out that “he’s the most athletically gifted cornerback on the roster.”

As PFF pointed out, it isn’t crazy to think Conley has a legitimate shot to oust Smith as the top corner on the Raiders. At Ohio State, he allowed only 0.51 yards per coverage snap which ranked near the top in the nation alongside players such as Jason Beck and Brenden Schooler.

While Smith might be the crafty veteran, Conley might be the next big thing at corner since another certain future Hall of Famer roamed the backfield.

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1 thought on “Position battles: Raiders’ Sean Smith and Gareon Conley”

  1. I think Conley’s time is close at hand, probably this year. Smith might play somewhat better if Pagano implements scheme adjustments. Speaking of imminent Secondary Hall of Famers….The Judge. Number 37. Do it!

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