The Las Vegas Raiders opted not to make a big-name addition to the secondary in free agency. However, they haven’t fully neglected their cornerback room, as they have signed former Carolina Panthers cornerback Rasul Douglas.
The Raiders announced they have signed Douglas. A 2017 third-round selection by the Philadelphia Eagles, the West Virginia product never found his footing in the ‘City of Brotherly Love’. Philly waived him last offseason and was promptly claimed by the Panthers. In his lone year in Carolina, he appeared in 14 games with 11 starts and logged 62 total tackles and nine passes defensed. Also, he allowed 62 completions on 98 targets and gave up a career-low 12.6 yards per reception.
Even though Douglas is far from a Pro Bowler, he will immediately add depth to the Raiders’ cornerback group. The New Jersey native lacks top-notch speed and athleticism but also diagnoses plays well and can jump routes. While it’s not guaranteed he will make the team, he could end up seizing a roster spot in training camp.
The Raiders need to keep revamping their cornerback room
Douglas could push the Raiders’ young cornerbacks. Damon Arnette struggled as a rookie and the team hasn’t gotten much from Isaiah Johnson. There’s also sophomore Amik Robertson who could play more with Lamarcus Joyner out of the picture. However, it’s possible that the Lousiana Tech standout will mainly line up in the slot.
Looking at the state of the Raiders’ cornerback group, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Douglas start a few games in 2021. The fact Douglas could end up with a prominent role in 2021 shows the need to add playmakers to the unit. The hire of defensive coordinator Gus Bradley this offseason should help but the team has to also give him a few playmakers. The Raiders have eight selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, they should consider using at least one on a cornerback prospect.
Signing Douglas was a smart move but Las Vegas needs to keep tweaking their cornerback group. They have made changes to their defense this offseason but not enough. They bolstered their defensive line early in free agency, it’s time to turn their attention to the secondary.
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