Raiders in Review: Daryl Worley

Last offseason, Daryl Worley signed a one-year $3 million contract to return as one of the Raiders starting corners. Worley was coming off a solid 2018 campaign, and was expected to start across from an improved Gareon Conley in what should have been a decent cornerback duo. Let’s take a look at how that played out:

Impact on the defense

Worley had another decent year in 2019, and was one of the most important players in the Raiders defense last year, which isn’t saying much, knowing how bad the unit as a whole was. He put in a solid season and was reliable, which was much needed since the cornerback group saw injuries to Isaiah Johnson, Trayvon Mullen, and Conley. The veteran played 939 snaps on defense, second most on the team, had 58 total tackles, good enough for fourth, and had seven pass breakups, second most on the defensive unit. He was also very versatile, and saw time at cornerback, slot corner, safety, linebackers, and more.
With all that said, Worley had his trouble in coverage, which I’ll discuss more in the next part of this article. He definitely had his fair share of missed assignments and blown coverages. He made a good overall impact on this defense though, and without him, the unit would have been much worse.

Related: Raiders in Review: Foster Moreau

Looking at the numbers

Now I’m gonna take a look at some advanced stats, to see where Worley ranked among his peers. Starting with the basics, Worley finished the year with 58 tackles, tied for 29th among all corners. He only had one interception, and his 42 receptions allowed ranked 39th.
Let’s look at his performance in coverage. PFF gave him a coverage grade of just 64.5, ranking 71st among all cornerbacks. That’s not good. For some context, some players just above Worley were; Jonathan Joseph, (65, HOU), Marshon Lattimore, (65.7, NO) and Gareon Conley, (65.8, HOU). Some notable players ranked just below Worley are Patrick Peterson (64.3, ARI) and Malcom Butler (64.2, TEN). Worley was not good in pass coverage according to these advanced stats, but some other notable names were ranked just above and below him.
Next, I’m going to look at his run defense, and pass rush grades. Worley was given a low 55.3 grade in rush defense, but was given a decent 67.4 grade when it came to rushing the passer. His run defense was pretty bad throughout the whole year. Many Raiders fans can back this ranking up with an eye test, as we all saw him miss tackles. Again, there are some notable names below him. Seattle’s Tre Flowers, Cleveland’s Denzel Ward and Miami’s Aqib Talib all had a lower ranking. This is not to say Worley should get an excuse for his bad run defense, but there are many good cornerbacks in the NFL who struggle with tackling, so Worley isn’t alone.

What’s next?

Worley is going into this offseason as a free agent. I think it would be smart for the Raiders to bring him back on another short-term contract. He has proven to be reliable, and that’s been pretty valuable for a Raiders secondary that’s been banged up a lot. He isn’t great, but he’s a solid cornerback who has some good and bad moments every game. He’s reliable, and would be a nice piece to bring back to play with Mullen, Johnson and co.

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