The Oakland Raiders secondary was easily the worst part of the team in 2011. Pass defense has been a strong suit for the Raiders for years. To say that it was a liability this year is an understatement. After refusing to make any effort to re-sign Nnamdi Asomugha, the Raiders signed Stanford Routt to number one corner back money. The problem is, Routt is not a number one corner, and the Raiders failed to go out and get an adequate option to play opposite of Routt.
Chris Johnson was hampered with injuries all year, but even when he was healthy, it seemed like he had completely forgotten that the NFL has pass interference rules. With Johnson's injury issues, Chimdi Chekwa's injury issues and DeMarcus Van Dyke not playing particularly well, the Raiders went out and signed Lito Sheppard.
With that cast of characters, it is not surprising how terribly the Raiders pass defense performed this year. But, with that being said, it is not a unit that needs a complete overhaul. When he was not injured, Chimdi Chekwa played pretty well for the Raiders. He showed a ton of potential, and looked more game read than Van Dyke.
Van Dyke on the other hand, has the tools to be a good corner in the NFL. Erik Davis, a Super Bowl winning defensive back for the San Francisco 49ers and current host on 95.7 The Game picked Van Dyke as the Raider he expects to show the biggest jump in performance next season. He said that he has the ability to be great and just needs to learn to be more patient. He believes that Van Dyke tries too hard to make an impact, rather than being patient and picking his spots.
If the two promising young corners improve next season, the Raiders really just need to dump Sheppard and Johnson then go out and find a number two corner and the Raiders will have a much improved secondary.