Though the Las Vegas Raiders have been busy this offseason, they’ve failed to address the slot cornerback position. Fortunately for them, Brian Poole is still available in the open market.
Addressing the defensive line was clearly the priority with Gus Bradley coming in as the new defensive coordinator. Signing Yannick Ngakoue and a whole batch of veteran defensive linemen is surely a positive but what about the secondary? The Raiders would have Amik Robertson in the slot, with Johnathan Abram and Jeff Heath in the backfield if the season started today. This is not exactly an imposing group when you consider Robertson’s inexperience and the pass defense’s 2020 struggles. A lot of blame lies on Paul Guenther and his stubbornness in forcing Lamarcus Joyner to start in the slot. No matter which route the Raiders’ brain trust takes next month, Brian Poole would be a nice insurance policy.
Signing Poole by no means indicates the Raiders are giving up on Robertson though. Under Bradley and defensive backs coach Ron Milus, all of the team’s defensive backs improve. Rather, adding Poole to the mix gives the Silver and Black an option in the slot, especially if it can be done cheaply.
Would Brian Poole be worth it for the Raiders?
According to Pro Football Focus, Poole has posted excellent coverage grades the last two years with the New York Jets. He was graded at 79.8 and 80.0 during that stretch, with a run defense of 69.8 as well. During that run with the ‘Gang Green’, Poole accumulated three interceptions and 12 passes defensed. In blitz packages, Poole rushed the quarterback 51 times in the last two years. He totaled 12 pressures, one sack, and seven total quarterback hits in that span.
The biggest obstacle in attempting to sign Poole will be the finances. PFF predicts that Poole will be looking for a three-year $18 million contract, with approximately $7 million guaranteed at signing. This may be a tad steep for the Raiders, but you never know, right? What are your thoughts, Raider Nation as far as Poole? Let us know in the comments down below.
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*Top Photo: Patrick Semansky/Associated Press