Raiders Sign Former Falcons CB & Place D.J. Killings on IR

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The Oakland Raiders have made a couple of moves in their defensive backfield. After serving a brief stint with the Atlanta Falcons, the Raiders have claimed cornerback Hamp Cheevers off waivers. Cheevers was only with the Falcons for a couple of weeks after getting signed as an undrafted free agent. This is all according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Cheevers played his college ball at Boston College. He had a chance to play a preseason game against the Denver Broncos and saw a good amount of defensive snap. Unfortunately, he had a bad pass interference call that set the Broncos up for the win. Not a good first impression for an undrafted rookie early in his career. Cheevers actually has great ball skills based on his college stats. He tied for the FBS lead in interceptions with seven in 2018. He lacks size, but if he can show off some playmaking ability, he could be a decent practice squad option for the team.

This move comes after the news that cornerback D.J. Killings has been placed on injured reserve. Killings was entering his third season in the NFL. He started his career with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent but hasn’t found a consistent home. He’ll have to wait to get his chance to prove himself once he’s healthy. According to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Killings tore a pectoral muscle and will undergo surgery. That will likely keep him out for quite a while.

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Raiders Cornerback Depth Chart

*denotes starters based on the first depth chart

CB1: Daryl Worley*, Trayvon Mullen, Nevin Lawson, Isaiah Langley, Hamp Cheevers

CB2: Gareon Conley*, Nick Nelson, Isaiah Johnson, Keisean Nixon, Dylan Mabin

CB3: LaMarcus Joyner*

With the addition of Cheevers and subtraction of Killings, not much should change for the defensive backfield. Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley should be the two starting corners with LaMarcus Joyner starting as a nickel corner. Trayvon Mullen has been impressive so far and could see a lot of playing time. Rookie Isaiah Johnson went down with a possible concussion during Saturday’s preseason game with the Los Angeles Rams, but it remains to be seen how long that will keep him out.

This is a really young group of cornerbacks. Joyner is the oldest guy in the group and he’s just 28. With added experience, the unit should see improvement over last year’s performance. While Conley and Worley were with the team last year, they didn’t have a lot of help. The additions of Mullen and Joyner should help spread out the talent quite a bit. The Raiders were only able to put up 13 sacks a year ago and a lot of that was due to poor pass defense. If receivers get open less often, the team could see that sack number jump quite a bit. It starts with the defensive line, but the defensive backfield definitely helps.

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