On Wednesday Raider Nation welcomed another cornerback into the fold. With the team likely to carry six listed cornerbacks, with Marcus Gilchrist as a flex defensive back, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie looks to be the final player in the flock. While this likely spells the end for roster bubble guys such as Antonio Hamilton and Shareece Wright, the addition also likely raises the overall talent level of the final six.
Many Raiders fans felt confused that the Raiders continued to sign players well into the “middle aged” part of their careers. DRC certainly fits that mold as he enters his 11th season and his fifth team. Yet for his travels, DRC has had a chance to be a part of some very good defenses and in his decade has notched some rather respectable bench marks. Posting a 4.29 40-yard dash and a 38.5” vertical leap back in 2008, he was expected to translate well in the slot. Since being drafted 16th overall he has averaged around three interceptions (33 overall) and just about 10 pass break ups (96 overall) per season and has surrendered just 79.9 passer rating when targeted.
For those wondering why the Raiders didn’t try to sign the recently released George Iloka, DRC is insurance. In the slot cornerback position if Gilchrist gets injured again or ends up a starting safety, the Raiders will have a proven commodity stepping up. This signing more or less answers the question of who plays in nickel packages as Reggie Nelson likely becomes the player to leave the field. Furthermore, for those thinking the group is old, three of the corners expected to make the roster are 28 or younger. In the end, DRC is probably the finishing touch to a Khalil Mackless Raiders defense.