Trade Proposal Sends Speedy Former 1st-Round Pick CB to Raiders

greg newsome

Getty Cleveland Browns CB Greg Newsome II.

The Las Vegas Raiders haven’t been aggressive in addressing the cornerback position this offseason. That could be due to them having confidence in the players they already have or it’s possible that appealing options haven’t materialized yet.

If the Raiders don’t like what’s available in free agency, they could explore the trade market. Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report believes that Cleveland Browns cornerback Greg Newsome II could be a trade target for Las Vegas.

“The Browns are the rare team that has enough depth to actually trade a cornerback,” Ballentine wrote in a May 22 column. “Newsome has inside-out versatility and the Browns have taken advantage by playing him at the slot when both Denzel Ward and Martin Emerson are healthy.

“Newsome could team up with Jones to create a strong duo on the outside. … Playing in a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, it’s a move that could serve them well as they look to develop other options at the position.”

Newsome was a first-round pick in 2021 and is only 24. He could still be an ascending player. However, as Ballentine noted, the Browns have an abundance of cornerback talent. Newsome hasn’t been bad but only has two interceptions in three seasons. Las Vegas might be able to get him for a third-round pick in a trade.

Patrick Graham Still High on Jakorian Bennett

Heading into last season, the Raiders were high on rookie Jakorian Bennett and gave him a Week 1 starting spot. It didn’t take long for him to fall down the depth chart and he saw few snaps as the season went on.

However, the team hasn’t given up on the speedster. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham still believes Bennett has potential.

“Part of it is just getting the reps,” Graham said in his May 21 press conference. “You’ve got to see it. You have these dreams of being in the NFL, you played high school ball, played college ball, you get here, and you just realize this is a different game. It just is. I mean, there’s still tackling, blocking, all that stuff right there, but it’s a different game, and seeing the route combinations, understanding that they’re going to try to isolate you for the run game with crack replace situations.

“So, what I’ve seen is the film study. I’ve seen him ask the right questions. I’ve seen him narrow down what his focus is by stage. So, phase one, phase two, phase three, and being able to really zero in on that so he can improve his craft and then leading in the training camp.”

Bennett improving would be big for the Raiders defense but it’ll be hard to tell with him until games are actually played.

Good Veteran CB Options Still Available

The Raiders are currently working through organized team activities and have a lot of time before training camp so there’s no reason to rush major roster decisions. If they don’t like what they’re seeing at cornerback in practice, they could be more motivated to add a veteran to the position.

Stephon Gilmore and Xavien Howard are the two best options available. Howard makes the most sense considering he played under Graham when they were both with the Miami Dolphins in 2019.

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