The Oakland Raiders had one of the worst corner back groups in the NFL last season. Led by an overpaid pass interference machine named Stanford Routt, the Raiders corner backs were one of the major reasons why the Raiders were unable to make the playoffs in 2011. This off season, the Raiders got rid of the three corner backs who saw the field most last season in Stanford Routt, Chris Johnson and Lito Sheppard. They also signed veteran corner backs Shawntae Spencer and Ron Bartell.
Spencer and Bartell are both solid football players and represent an upgrade over the duo the Raiders had starting last season with Routt and Johnson. But they also represent somewhat of a question mark at the position. Both have played their entire careers with one team and are coming to a new defense in Oakland. Both are getting older and both have had injury issues in recent years.
Behind the two presumed starters are second year players DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa. Chekwa was injured for a large part of last season, but when he did play, he showed a lot of potential to be a quality CB in the NFL. Van Dyke saw more time and showed that he was clearly not ready to play in the NFL. However, Van Dyke also showed why Al Davis liked him with his blazing speed and impressive athleticism. If he can learn to play the position better, he has the physical abilities to be a great corner.
Much like the tight end position discussed yesterday, the corner back position is one that has a the potential to be good, but also has enough questions surrounding it that there is always the possibility it could turn out to be a liability yet again this season.