The Raiders have made big changes to their defense this offseason, bringing in Patrick Graham and Chandler Jones. But they’ve also made a few other under-the-radar additions such as Bilal Nichols and Duron Harmon.
However, they are far from finished when it comes to upgrading their defense. They still need to add cornerback depth and with Josh McDaniels saying Nate Hobbs could play more on the outside, they could be in the market for a slot cornerback.
One of the top slot cornerbacks in the draft is Marcus Jones from Houston. But due to a lack of size, he could fall to the end of the third round. However, he’s still one of the most dynamic players in the class. According to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, the Raiders will meet with Jones ahead of the NFL Draft:
“Jones wasn’t able to work out Friday (at his Pro Day). However, he has upcoming top-30 visits with the Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Las Vegas Raiders, a medical recheck on April 13, the Carolina Panthers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to a league source.”
Jones had five interceptions and 13 pass deflections last year, but that doesn’t even begin to sum up how good of a player he was in college. Jones scored 11 touchdowns during his collegiate career on offense, defense and special teams. He was a 2021 consensus All-American selection after scoring four touchdowns on specials teams and averaging 34 yards per kick return.
Jones was so dynamic with the ball in his hands that they allowed him to play offense last season. He caught ten passes for 109 yards and a touchdown as a part-time receiver. While that likely won’t be his role in the NFL, it wouldn’t be shocking if a coaching staff tried to find ways to get him the ball in space.
Given the history of Josh McDaniels and finding ways to use special talents, Jones makes a ton of sense for the Raiders at No. 86. Even as a returner only, he could be worth that selection as he averaged 14 yards per punt return during his collegiate career.
If the Raiders want to add one of the best pure football players in this class in the third round, Jones would be a fantastic option.