The Oakland Raiders filled a potentially sizable need with their fourth round pick as they selected cornerback Chimdi Chekwa in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Ohio State cornerback appears to have struggled a bit in press coverage but was quite strong when he played off his man a little bit. According to Mocking the Draft:
Final word: It’s hard to see Chekwa entering the NFL and making much of an impact early. He has plenty of natural athleticism, but has a small frame. He also has trouble playing press and can be beaten by a variety of receivers. Needed surgery after dislocating his wrist during the Sugar Bowl breaking up a pass.
This pick is in part for depth, but also a bit of insurance in case Nnamdi Asomugha decides to take his services elsewhere. The all-pro cornerback was declared a free agent after failing to meet some basic performance incentives because nobody threw his way all season long. According to Mocking the Draft:
Strengths: Is fine when he’s playing off man coverage and has an extra step to turn and run with receivers. Reads the ball pretty well in the to cut and break quickly. Is naturally long and knows how to use his length to his advantage. Likes to quickly jump in front of the receiver and bat the ball away. Has very good timed speed (4.38 seconds at the Combine), but doesn’t always play up to it. Has lined up on both sides of the field and in the nickel. Played gunner on special teams.
Weaknesses: Chekwa really struggled when Ohio State tried to use him in press coverage. He doesn’t have the body control or fluidity to turn and run with his receiver. Poor on his transitions. Was consistently beaten on the outside. Needs to get stronger or he’ll really get pushed around a lot in the NFL. Is a drag down tackler who will have trouble against power possession receivers. Lack of body control allows quick ball carriers to beat him in the open field.