It didn’t take long for the Oakland Raiders to replace the recently injured Johnathan Abram. After trying out several players on Thursday, Oakland has made a decision. The team has announced that they have signed defensive back Juston Burris.
Burris was a fourth-round pick by the New York Jets in the 2016 NFL Draft. He played his college football at NC State. He also spent some time with the Cleveland Browns last season. Burris is likely just a depth option at this point considering he’s only started two games in his career. He’s caught two interceptions and accumulated 30 combined tackles over three seasons. He’ll probably find himself at the back of the depth chart and won’t see too much playing time at first.
This move may come as a disappointment to Raider fans as talented/proven veterans like Eric Berry and George Iloka are still on the open market. It’s still possible the Raiders try to bring a more proven guy in, but it looks like Erik Harris or Curtis Riley will get the nod. The Oakland defensive backfield depth chart has gotten a little shaken up.
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Raiders DB Depth Chart
*Denotes expected starters
LCB: Daryl Worley*, Trayvon Mullen
RCB: Gareon Conley*, LaMarcus Joyner, Keisean Nixon
FS: Curtis Riley*, Juston Burris
SS: Karl Joseph*, Erik Harris, Dallin Leavitt
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to say that Curtis Riley is going to get the nod as the starter. He started every game for the New York Giants in 2018 and is the only other experienced starter besides Karl Joseph. Erik Harris may get some starts if Riley isn’t up for the task, but he hasn’t started much.
Another interesting option would be to have LaMarcus Joyner move back to safety. He’s currently the team’s slot corner, but he played a good amount of safety while he was with the Los Angeles Rams. He would probably prefer to not change positions considering he came to the Raiders to be a slot corner, but it could be beneficial to have him be Abram’s replacement. The team should give Riley a shot to lock down the gig. With a tough week 2 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Raiders pass defense will be on full display.
There was a bit of good news for the Raiders defensive backfield. It looks like Gareon Conley should be good to start on Sunday after a neck injury scare. He’s one of the team’s most talented defensive backs and Oakland definitely needs him if they have any chance of slowing down Patrick Mahomes. The loss of Johnathan Abram is a huge blow, however. He was one of the team’s most exciting rookies and he won’t even get a chance to play in 2019, outside of the week 1 game against the Denver Broncos. Hopefully, he recovers well and doesn’t have any lingering issues heading into the 2020 season.