The Las Vegas Raiders had plenty of issues on defense this year.
Much of it came in the back half of their defensive unit. The defensive line wasn’t always consistent, but the talent is undeniable.
In the secondary, there is much less proven talent. The depth is nonexistent as well.
The Raiders need to improve their defense in a big way if they want to take a step forward next season. They didn’t live up to expectations this year, and that cannot happen next season, too.
The Raiders are selecting seventh overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
At that spot, there are sure to be a handful of impressive cornerbacks on the board. If they decide to trade back, they could still snag a very talented CB.
Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
Gonzalez has been a climber on draft boards this season. He was one of the best cornerbacks in college football this year, and he was a big reason that Oregon had a solid season in the Pac-12.
He totaled four interceptions and four pass deflections in 2022.
Falling in love with the skillset of Oregon CB 0 Christian Gonzalez. pic.twitter.com/yJwMzFQJuA— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) January 13, 2023
Gonzalez has prototypical size for an NFL cornerback, and he uses it quite well. He’s a physical defensive back, but he does not get too handsy with receivers.
Gonzalez knows his limits, even if there aren’t many. His versatility in man and zone coverage would be a massive upgrade for the Raiders’ secondary.
Joey Porter Jr., Penn State
As the son of a former NFL defender, Joey Porter Jr. shows a ton of NFL traits already.
Porter Jr. has absolute vines for arms. Additionally, his work in press man coverage is possibly the best in the entire draft class.
Arguably the top CB in the NFL Draft, Joey Porter Jr @jjporter_1, is one of my favorites in the draft.— Jared Tokarz (@JaredNFLDraft) January 5, 2023
6’2 198lbs, he possesses elite length paired with some of the smoother hip transitioning in the class. Best part he’s just scratching the surface
You will never see a wide receiver physically dominate Porter Jr. He competes consistently, and his quick first step helps him against faster receivers.
His transitional quickness is another pro in his game as well. He’s just a very smooth cornerback already.
He hasn’t unlocked his full potential, but the physical ability is so clear on tape for the former Nittany Lion.
The Raiders would make plenty of sense for him as well.