One of the areas the Las Vegas Raiders struggled to correct last season was their secondary, and in year two, the coaching staff will have an opportunity to bring in the right personnel to run their defensive system.
As we enter the postseason, the Raiders have another concern to add to their problems, and that is free agency.
A total of six players (cornerbacks and safeties) will become free agents at the end of the postseason, which means the team will be busy evaluating their options via free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft.
In the meantime, we’ll be working alongside SI’s Draft Bible to get you the latest information on any potential cornerback prospects the Raiders may consider drafting.
“We’re going to continue to find players who fit what we look for, and continue to build this team in our vision, and I think we’re going to, at the same time, our goal is to win football games, and our goal for next year is to make an improvement over where we were this year,” Raiders General Manager Dave Ziegler said.
After a monster freshman season at LSU where he accumulated four interceptions and two touchdowns, Eli Ricks transferred from LSU to play the 2022 season with the Crimson Tide with reasons unknown.
He did not become a starter until Week Eight against Mississippi State, but once he did, his presence was felt.
“An elongated corner with ball skills, Ricks has the makeup of a top defensive back but must build on his technique to congeal himself atop his draft class,” said Draft Bible on Ricks Jones.
Jones stands at 6-foot-2 and weighs 190 pounds, a lengthy cornerback that lacks the elite speed scouts are looking for from a top prospect, but makes up for it with his hand-on technique at the point of attack.
An aggressive cornerback that plays comfortable with the ball in the air, beating receivers to high point for interceptions.
“[Ricks] Uses his length at the line of scrimmage, disrupting route timing. No issue when asked to turn and run. Unthreatened in man coverage, via vertical or underneath concepts,” added Draft Bible.
Projected as day two selections, Ricks can fall to the Raiders in the third or fourth round.
Just as it took him some time to become a starter at Alabama, Ricks may need some time to compete for a starting job in an open secondary.
The NFL Draft will occur at Union Station in Kansas City, Mo., ending with rounds five to seven on Saturday, April 29. ESPN, ABC, and NFL Network will broadcast all seven rounds.
The NFL Scouting Combine is Feb. 28-March 6, 2023, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. March 7, 2023, before 4 p.m. EST, is the club’s deadline to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 13-15 is the free agent negotiation period. Starting at 12 p.m. EST on March 13 and ending at 3:59:59 p.m. EST on March 15, clubs are permitted to contact and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2022 Player Contracts at 4 p.m. EST on March 15.
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