Top 5 free agent cornerbacks Las Vegas Raiders could sign to boost their defense

Adoree Jackson Las Vegas Raiders cornerbacks free agents

The Las Vegas Raiders will examine their roster for the first time during this week’s OTAs, and continuing to strengthen their defense under veteran defensive coordinator Patrick Graham could still be a priority.

A key concern for the Raiders remains at the cornerback position, especially the need for depth and a dependable outside cornerback to partner with Jack Jones. While the Raiders selected two cornerbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft, the need for another outside starter and added depth could be addressed in free agency. With some enticing options available, the Raiders have a chance to enhance their secondary significantly.

Here are five cornerbacks who could find their way to Las Vegas if Graham, Antonio Pierce, and general manager Tom Telesco believe they need help.

Xavien Howard

Xavien Howard Las Vegas Raiders
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Xavien Howard is renowned in the NFL for his playmaking skills and ability to create turnovers. The Miami Dolphins cornerback has consistently showcased his knack for interceptions in recent seasons. Howard’s talent in anticipating the quarterback’s moves and reacting quickly aligns well with Graham’s defensive approach, which runs a mixture of Cover 3 and Cover 6, allowing his defensive players to drop back and read the offense.

In Graham’s system, cornerbacks often handle man-to-man coverage duties, which suits Howard’s abilities perfectly. His combination of physicality and agility enables him to effectively defend against top-tier receivers in the league, while his experience brings valuable leadership qualities to a youthful Raiders secondary.

Howard’s background in various defensive strategies also allows him to adjust, ensuring a smooth transition into the Raiders system. His cost? Well, that could be an obstacle.

Adoree Jackson

Adoree Jackson Las Vegas Raiders
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Adoree Jackson brings a special combination of speed and versatility to the team. Known for his athleticism and quick ground coverage, Jackson would be an asset in a defense that values flexibility and adaptability. His time with the New York Giants and Tennessee Titans showcased his prowess in man-to-man and zone coverages, crucial elements of Graham’s defensive approach.

Jackson’s speed enables him to recover swiftly if initially beaten, making him a dependable choice against deep threats. Moreover, his return specialist talents could add value to the Raiders on special teams. His existing rapport with Graham from their time together at the Giants would further facilitate his integration into the Raiders’ defense.

Stephon Gilmore

Stephon Gilmore Las vegas Raiders
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Stephon Gilmore‘s reputation as one of the best shutdown cornerbacks in the NFL makes him an attractive option for the Raiders. The former Defensive Player of the Year has consistently demonstrated his ability to neutralize top receivers and perform exceptionally well in high-pressure situations. Gilmore’s experience and skill set align perfectly with what the Raiders seek in a dependable outside cornerback.

Graham’s defensive strategy often puts cornerbacks in challenging situations, requiring them to handle one-on-one matchups without much backup from a safety, especially in third-down situations. Gilmore’s ability to excel in such scenarios would be extremely valuable. Not only would his presence enhance the secondary’s performance, but he could also mentor younger players like Jones, Jakorian Bennett and Nate Hobbs. Bringing Gilmore on board would immediately strengthen the Raiders’ defense.

Steven Nelson

Steven Nelson Las Vegas Raiders
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Steven Nelson may not have the same level of stardom as others mentioned here, but his consistent performance and reliability make him a solid choice for the Raiders. Nelson has been a reliable player with teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Philadelphia Eagles. His capability to play effectively on the outside and in the slot adds valuable versatility to the Raiders secondary.

Nelson’s aggressive style of play and physicality in coverage aligns well with Graham’s defensive philosophy. He excels at press coverage, disrupting receivers’ routes at the line of scrimmage and maintaining tight coverage downfield. Nelson’s strong work ethic and low-key approach could bring a hard-working mentality to the Raider’s defense, complementing existing players and providing crucial depth.

Patrick Peterson

Patrick Peterson Las Vegas Raiders
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Patrick Peterson’s impressive career achievements speak volumes about his skill set. The former Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings player, who moved to safety last year due to injuries in the Pittsburgh Steelers secondary, has shown remarkable consistency and durability over the last 10 years. Peterson’s blend of size, speed and football intelligence makes him a valuable asset for any defensive team, including the Raiders.

Despite not being at his peak performance level anymore, Peterson’s wealth of experience and leadership qualities are priceless for a team aiming to make a run for the playoffs. He could move back to cornerback and his ability to analyze opponent offenses and effectively communicate with his teammates could enhance the overall performance of the Raiders’ secondary.

Las Vegas Raiders cornerbacks plan still unknown

The Las Vegas Raiders have an excellent chance to address their cornerback needs through free agency. Each player mentioned possesses unique skills that could significantly contribute to Patrick Graham’s defensive tactics. Xavien Howard’s knack for creating plays, Adoree’ Jackson’s speed and versatility, Stephon Gilmore’s ability to shut down opponents, Steven Nelson’s reliability and Patrick Peterson’s seasoned experience all make strong cases as potential additions to the Raiders lineup.

Ultimately, the choice will depend on how well it aligns with Graham’s system, affordability, and fit. However, the Raiders have many excellent choices if they decide to seek help outside the building.

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