First round options for the Raiders at cornerback

I still think the Oakland Raiders are most likely going to start the 2017 season with Sean Smith and David Amerson on the outside. But that doesn’t mean they won’t draft a corner and do it as high as the first round. Should the Raiders decide that corner is where they want to go with the 24th pick, here is a look at three very good options available to them.

Marshon Lattimore, CB
Round: First

Once again, we start with a guy who is not likely to be available when the Raiders pick in the first round. But as always, we discuss him anyway because he’s one of the best at the position and you never know when someone might fall.

Lattimore is a rather unfinished product but one who has a ton of upside to him. His athleticism and speed is at the elite level and it seems pretty clear that Lattimore has the ability to stick with most receivers in the NFL.

The problem is, Lattimore missed most of his first two years of college ball thanks to hamstring issues. When he was finally healthy enough to play in 2016, he showed why he was such a huge prospect coming out of high school. But he also showed that two years of injuries had slowed his growth.

Coaches will need to work to develop Lattimore, especially with issues like awareness. But if he improves, which you should expect to happen with more playing time, he has the potential to be great.

If he can stay healthy.

Tre’Davious White, CB
Round: First

This might be my favorite corner if the Raiders decide to take one in the first round. A starter with a ton of experience and one who comes from a school who has become known for producing NFL caliber corners in LSU, White is a guy who can come in right away and be a starter as the slot corner for the Raiders.

My favorite part of White is the fact that he’s the kind of corner who will try to anticipate routes and attack the ball. Sure, that’s the kind of player who can give up big plays if they misread or miss play a ball. But at the same time, it’s also the kind of player who makes big time plays.

White was a shut down corner who followed the opposing team’s best wide receiver in college. He has the potential to be that kind of guy in the NFL but it’s going to take some work. He will need to put on some muscle and learn how to deal better with physical receivers in the NFL. If he can do that and maintain his athleticism, he could be one of the better corners in the league.

Gareon Conley, CB
Round: First

Conley might be one of the safer bets for cornerbacks in the first round this season, but also doesn’t have the same ceiling as some of the other options. Conley is an all around good player but one who doesn’t necessarily jump off of the tape as a guy who could potentially be elite.

Similar to White, Conley can come in right away and be a starter in the slot as he adjusts to the NFL game. But Conley is a guy who can start on the outside or as a slot corner. He’s got plenty of athleticism and good size but his technique leaves something to be desired. Good route runners will be able to get him off balance in order to get open.

Unlike White, Conley is a solid run defender but also unlike White, he can have problems getting his head around with the ball in the air. I know, sounds like someone else we know. But unlike D.J. Hayden, Conley is a much safer bet even if he may not have the same potential.

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