Has Vegas Successfully Addressed the Secondary?
Has Vegas Successfully Addressed the Secondary? It is no secret the Raiders secondary had to be reinforced this off-season. The team spent most of last season signing defensive backs off of free agency and starting them the next week. Two examples are Brandon Facyson and Desmond Trufant. With both of them gone what have the Raiders done to bring depth back to their secondary and is it enough to keep up with the AFC West’s high-powered offenses.
The Raiders were big spenders in free agency, whether that be Chandler Jones or Davante Adams. Both signings obviously greatly improve the team but neither plays defensive back. Rather than spend big on a big name the Raiders went after players with potential. The two most notable are Rock Ya-Sin and Anthony Averett.
Since joining the league Ya-Sin has shown flashes but hasn’t truly broken out. PFF had him graded as one of the top-five man coverage corners last season. However, Ya-Sin has had penalty problems in the past, and joining the silver and black won’t help that. In his three-year career, he has committed fifteen penalties seven of them being defensive pass interference. He has big upside, but the Raiders coaching staff will have to help him reach his full potential.
Similar to Rock, Anthony Averett also was highly rated by PFF. Personally, I don’t live or die by PFF’s grades. However, it can’t be a bad thing to see him as top three in lowest passer ratings allowed this past season. Averett also caught three interceptions last season. Also, like Ya-Sin he has penalty problems. In last season alone he had seven penalties called against him. Five of which were defensive pass interference.
If the Raiders’ new coaching staff can help these two players in discipline the secondary will be in good shape. Otherwise the Raiders’ secondary will be torn to shreds by some of the league’s top passers and targets.
There are three players the Raiders should consider bringing in for depth and as possible starters.
The first is Vernon Hargreaves. Hargreaves has been in the league for six seasons. In those six seasons, he has bounced from the Buccaneers to the Texans, then to the Bengals. Hargreaves is a solid tackler tallying 60+ in three of his seasons. He may not be a starter but depth is important in the secondary.
The second target is Richard Sherman. Sherman may have lost a couple of steps in play, but he knows the position. If for nothing else Sherman would be a great player-coach. Especially with the youth of the players, the Raiders have at the position.
The final player is James Bradberry. Bradberry is the only player on this list with prior experience in Graham’s scheme. While he is still technically under contract with the Giants they are expected to release him in the coming weeks. The Raiders should get their foot in the door and solidify their cornerback room.