The Las Vegas Raiders need to remedy their horrible pass defense as soon as possible. Cornerback Zech McPhearson from the Big 12 conference could lend a hand.
Cornerback might not seem like a pressing need given how much the Raiders have invested into the position recently. The roster currently has Isaiah Johnson, Damon Arnette, and Trayvon Mullen leading the position. However, the Raiders’ pass defense continues to be a major liability. When your defense has given up 3,888 passing yards along with 26 touchdowns, team brass should not be opposed to adding reinforcements. Jon Gruden’s defense will need help across the board from their interior defensive line to their backfield.
So what about cornerback? Well, McPhearson could in theory support a young defensive back group that will have a new coordinator drawing up plays for them.
How would McPhearson help the Raiders?
First, let’s take a brief look at the collegiate numbers for these two prospects. McPhearson played these past two seasons at Texas Tech, he played 22 games in all. The defensive back amassed 89 solo tackles, three and a half tackles for a loss, and 11 passes defensed. In a show of speed, McPhearson also once returned a 90-yard touchdown after his defense blocked a field goal against Iowa State.
McPhearson’s statistical breakdown also paints a good picture of the prospect. Per Pro Football Focus, the defensive back played 475 snaps wide and 144 in the slot, along with 27 at free safety. Oh, and he can also play special teams, he had a total of 53 snaps between kick and punt coverage. Overall, McPhearson has an 83.7 grade and 85.7 in pass coverage, his strongest attribute. Playing all over the field, McPhearson also had a strong presence in stopping the run, he had a 70.0 grade per PFF. Cornerback might not be high on fans’ big boards but as far as the Raiders are concerned, McPhearson could be worth a look.
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*Top Photo: Photo Courtesy of TCU Athletics