The Raiders Secondary

DeLeon Deciphers: How To Fix The Raiders’ Secondary

The rotating door of defensive backs has been a staple of the current Las Vegas Raiders era. From the likes of David Amerson to Johnathan Abram, it’s been a painful ride of mediocrity. The Raiders’ refusal to spend on such a massive roster hole has been a contributor to such poor defensive play. However, with some extra cash en route to Dave Ziegler’s pocket, there is a glimmer of hope. Here are three scenarios that could aid the Raiders’ aching secondary.

DeLeon Deciphers: Fixing The Secondary

Scenario No. 1 For The Raiders

  • Trade Target: Jalen Ramsey, LAR, CB
  • Free Agent: Rock Ya-Sin, LV, CB
  • Draft: Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M, SS

Jalen Ramsey would be an excellent addition to the Silver and Black. Ramsey’s contract, however, is expensive for a team with other large roster holes. If the Raiders did decide to invest, they would be getting a premier cornerback coming off of a four-interception campaign. To pair with one of the league’s best, the Raiders could resign outside cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. The 26-year-old flashed his ball skills with seven pass deflections in his first season in Vegas. Although Ya-Sin has failed to play a full, healthy season in his career, he would make a stellar number two with the right group.

Rounding out the new-look secondary would be Texas A&M strong safety Antonio Johnson. Although he lacks some coverage talent, he is a strong tackler and can play in the box when called upon. The Raiders could snag him in an early round as a physical piece for a revamped unit.

Scenario No. 2 For The Raiders

  • Trade Target: Bradley Roby, NO, CB
  • Free Agent: Jimmie Ward, SF, SS/NCB
  • Draft: Christian Gonzalez, Oregon, CB

Sure, Bradley Roby isn’t the corner he used to be, but he could be a cheap veteran depth piece in a relatively young cornerback room. The Raiders could acquire him as a partial return in an extremely hypothetical Derek Carr trade to New Orleans. However, the veteran additions to the secondary don’t end there. San Francisco safety Jimmie Ward is exactly what the Raiders need. The 31-year-old veteran is playing some of his best football in recent years. Ward is extremely versatile, shifting between both safety positions as well as nickel cornerback.

His three interceptions and five pass deflections don’t lie, Ward can still ball. Finally, assuming the Raiders stray away from quarterback in the draft, the club can snag Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez. Between 4.3 speed and 6’2″ size, Gonzalez has the makings of a classic Raiders selection. He totaled four interceptions and seven pass deflections in his sophomore season and is a major need in this Raiders defense.

Scenario No. 3 For The Raiders

  • Trade Target: Bobby McCain, WAS, CB/S
  • Free Agent: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, PHI, SS
  • Draft: Joey Porter Jr, Penn State, CB

In yet another hypothetical Carr trade, the Raiders snag Bobby McCain as an extra piece from the Washington Commanders. The 29-year-old has played both safety positions as well as cornerback and is just a year removed from a four-interception campaign. McCain could easily carve out a nice role in a depleted Vegas secondary. The main course, however, would be Eagles safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Still only 25 years old, “CGJ” has enjoyed a career year on a short-term deal in Philadelphia. The asking price will be high, but the Raiders would be wise to invest in a long-term solution at safety. Six interceptions, eight pass deflections, and a sack are numbers the Raiders could desperately use.

Finally, the Raiders could snag Joey Porter Jr. in the first round. Porter Jr. would be a huge piece on a Patrick Graham defense if the Raiders decide to go all-in on defense. The 22-year-old is physically imposing in press coverage but is a fluid athlete with above-average ball skills. The Raiders would get a massive haul with these three players.

*Top Photo: ESPN/Getty Images

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