Photo via James Coller/Daily
The Oakland Raiders’ secondary allowed 61 explosive plays in 2016, ranking amongst the NFL’s worst in the category. While Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has been vocal about finding an interior linebacker and not a cornerback, it’s painfully evident that the Silver and Black have a need at the position.
Enter former Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis.
The 5-foot, 10-inch, 188-pound Lewis boasts elite foot speed, a fiery spirit and the ability to be a Day 1 starter at nickel cornerback — which is the exact position Oakland needs an upgrade at.
The Raiders already have two big corners in David Amerson and Sean Smith. Overall each were effective this year, but fans did see both get torched at times by smaller and quicker receivers such as: New Orleans’ Brandin Cooks, San Diego’s Travis Benjamin, Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill and Carolina’s Ted Ginn Jr.
With Smith and Amerson locked up on their current deals, Lewis would serve as the perfect complement in the slot.
With respect to the upcoming 2017 NFL draft, four expert NFL analysts have Oakland selecting former LSU cornerback Tre’Davious White at pick No. 24.
But those same analysts likely haven’t paid close enough attention to McKenzie’s spoken priorities, nor his prior late-round drafting prowess. Lewis is the type of selection that would serve to bolster the growing narrative that deservedly follows the reigning executive of the year.
Lewis is the classic case of a player great talent and film who unfortunately lacks the ideal NFL frame and speed.
It’s possible that Lewis could be there for the taking in round No. 2 should McKenzie be interested after the former Wolverine ran an average 4.54 second 40-yard dash.
Here’s a look at some of Lewis’ notable collegiate stats and accolades by way of the NFL.
Notable Accolades and Stats
- First Team All-American from multiple media outlets
- Jim Thorpe Award finalist
- Big Ten Conference Defensive Back of the Year Award recipient
- 4 INT’s and 29 passes defensed over the past two seasons
- 25.2 yards per kick return in 2015
The article can also be found here: http://raiderswire.usatoday.com/2017/03/07/2017-raiders-nfl-draft-first-look-michigan-cb-jourdan-lewis/
Ryan is currently a student at the University of North Carolina. He grew up in the Bay Area and has had Raiders season tickets his entire life fostering his love for the NFL. He has founded his own sports website, thejrreport.com and works at the Sports Desk for the Daily Tar Heel. You can follow Ryan on twitter @rytime98 if you want to discuss anything sports.