After another disappointing season on the defensive side of the ball, the Las Vegas Raiders did a lot to revamp their defense. The secondary has almost been completely rebuilt and is full of young talent. The team recently signed Prince Amukamara to add a veteran presence to the group but they may not be done yet.
There are two things the Raiders love: Former first-round picks and players who used to play for defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Darqueze Dennard checks both boxes and Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report thinks he’s a fit for the silver and black:
Starting-caliber cornerbacks are always valuable, even when they aren’t elite players. The fact that 28-year-old Darqueze Dennard is still available is great for teams in need of veteran secondary depth.
A first-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014, Dennard has 77 games and 24 starts on his resume. His most productive season was 2017, when he racked up 85 tackles, two interceptions and six passes defended.
The Las Vegas Raiders are a logical fit for Dennard, as defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has experience with the Michigan State product. Guenther held the same position with the Bengals when Dennard was drafted through 2017.
Though Las Vegas did add corners Prince Amukamara and rookie Damon Arnette this offseason, it’s looking to revamp a secondary that ranked 25th in passing yards allowed.
Dennard to the Raiders could make some sense. Though they appear set at cornerback, it couldn’t hurt to bring on a veteran who should be very familiar with Guenther’s defense. That said, the team might not have room for him.
Raiders Are Already Carrying a Lot of CBs
Between the draft and free agency, the Raiders added three cornerbacks in Damon Arnette, Amik Robertson and Prince Amukamara. At least two of those guys will make the roster and Trayvon Mullen and LaMarcus Joyner aren’t going anywhere. That’s not even mentioning Isaiah Johnson or Nevin Lawson. The team likes both of those guys.
If none of the previously mentioned guys get cut, that would make seven cornerbacks on the roster. The Raiders didn’t keep more than six last year. At this point, the team has three veterans in Amukamara, Lawson and Joyner. It wouldn’t really make a lot of sense to add Dennard at this point.
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Any Other Positions of Need?
Though it appears the Raiders are set at cornerback, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t look at other positions. Johnathan Abram should man one of the other safety spots but time will tell how much the Raiders are sold on Damarious Randall or Jeff Heath as the other starter. With Jamal Adams on the trade market, don’t be surprised if the team at least reaches out to the Jets.
There are also rumors the Raiders could try to add another defensive lineman for training camp. With Everson Griffin and Jadeveon Clowney still available, there’s an unprecedented amount of talent available this late in free agency. However, the Raiders won’t have enough cap space for either of them. If the team does decide to add another player, it likely won’t be one of the top-tier guys.