Chimdi Chekwa returns

So just one day after being cut by the New England Patriots, the Oakland Raiders resigned CB Chimdi Chekwa, a move I like a lot. Why?

(1) He’s got some experience, having been drafted by us in 2011, and our most experienced CB on the roster prior to Chekwa signing was DJ Hayden

(2) he’s fast

(3) he’s a great gunner on special teams

(4) he’ll come cheap now he’s been through Patriot cuts

(5) he’s improved every year he’s been on the roster

Our top 3 CB’s right now are DJ Hayden, Keith McGill and TJ Carrie, then its a straight battle with Chimdi Chekwa, James Dockery, Neiko Thorpe (great height), Dexter McDonald, Rob Daniel, Travell Dixon and SaQwan Edwards for 2 spots, that’s going to be a really interest watch.


Tiny bit of clarity on UDFA, its Robertson Daniel (not Daniel Robertson)

A little bit of clarity on one of the Oakland Raiders UDFA signings, the BYU CB that we signed is called Robertson Daniels and not Daniel Robertson as I’ve seen it misquoted in a few places.

This kid is long and fast, and with a bit of coaching could be a really good player. What I really like about BYU CB Robertson Daniel is his man-coverage skills, couple these with his raw materials and we could have a real player on our hands. My ideal CB would be plus six foot tall and run a sub 4.5 40 time, he does both of these things, unfortunately he’s raw, but that is what training camp and coaching are all about. We don’t have huge depth at CB, hence any standout performer in camp will likely make a push for the roster, lets see what Daniel Robertson has to offer.

Killer CB ?

The Kansas City Chiefs have releases Brandon Flowers, their pro bowl CB, as they desperately seek cap room and increasingly follow the league preference towards bigger CB’s. This at the same time as we learn that DJ Hayden has an injury that will likley keep him out until training camp leads me to the conclusion that we should target Flowers.

Flowers is a talented CB, of that there is little doubt, true he struggled in 2013 but was that more a system problem than pure talent, as previously he has thrived. I know those Pro Football stats are a very unreliable indicator, but in 2012 they had Flowers ranked as the league’s 7th best CB, the year he made the pro bowl. Unfortunately as the Chiefs switched to more press coverage, Brandon Flower’s displays suffered. With many teams struggling for finances, we could probably pick Flowers up relatively cheaply, a move that I would recommend, particularly considering our paucity of options

If we think the price on Flowers might be a little high another viable option would be Chris Houston, recently released by the Detriot Lions, although there are additional injury concerns attached to this potential pickup (he had toe surgery in May). I like Houston though, particularly his 5’11” size and 4.3 second 40 time, the 2007 second round pick would (if fit) be an interesting aquisition.

Great Signings Continue

The Oakland Raiders acquisition of CB Carlos Rogers is another great signing by the Reggie McKenzie administration. Yes Rogers is old – 32 years to be precise – but he is in good condition, will likely not be an ever-down starter anyway, and with the much improved pass rush will have a much easier job to do than last year’s incumbents.

Just like Charles Woodson, Carlos Rogers provides further tutelage for our young DB class – I can only see the likes of Taiwan Jones, Chimdi Chekwa, Johnny Adams, Chance Casey, Tony Dye, DJ Hayden, Shelton Johnson and Neiko Thorpe – improving under the guidance of Tarell Brown, Charles Woodson and Carlos Rogers.

… on this kid Neiko Thorpe, at 6’2″, clocking 4.34 in the 40 and delivering proper hits I see a real prospect

as I do with Chance Casey, really looking forward to seeing that kid improve.


Cornerback battle

The CB battle this season’s offseason is looking particularly intense – obviously DJ Hayden is a lock for the 53 man roster (due to his first rounder status), while Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter also look like locks for the roster. After that there are about 6 very talented players with the potential routes to the roster.

Lets start with, in my opinion, one of the stars of the Dallas cowboys game, Chance Casey. Maybe the friendly spirit of Lester Hayes is still embracing the 37 shirt, but he really impressed me on Friday. Locking up receivers and laying on tackles, If Chance Casey keeps this up, he’ll be starting in a years time. No I hadn’t heard of him before, but on doing a little more research it turn out this Baylor DB lost a lot of playing time to injuries at college but was very highly regarded. Lets see how he does in the next few games, but this progress continues and he’ll be one of the shocks of the roster.

Next up is one of my favourite players, and one who I genuinely feel will make the roster, Taiwan Jones. This lad is already one of our best special team players, but his conversion to CB just adds to his already excellent value to the squad. In camp Jones has been showing imensly improved converage skills, and with further work could be the real deal at CB.

Then there is Phillip Adams, the youngster who looked really good in game time last year – normally I’d have thought he was a lock for the 53, but with added pressure he will really need to shine in coverage in the next couple of games.

Chimidi Chekwa can’t be ignored, after an initiallty rocky start he has demostrated clear signs of improvment, however if he want to improve his chances I recon he would be better utilised at FS. Likewise Brandian Ross, I see him listed at CB, but to me he’s really more of an option at FS.

Do we want experience in the slot – don’t forget we’ll be facing Wes Walker twice this year – Joselio Hanson brings this in spades, unfortunately in the Cowboys game he kept getting beaten. for his sake I’m going to assume this was a one off, but he really needs to shine from here on in.