How Keith McGill Fits with the Oakland Raiders

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How Keith McGill Fits with the Oakland Raiders
Michael Conroy/Associated Press
The Raiders Picked up a 6'3" Cornerback in the 4th Round

The Oakland Raiders took a cornerback with the 116th pick in the 2014 NFL draft. He's the second cornerback taken by the Raiders in the last two years. Last year, with the 12th overall pick, they took D.J. Hayden.

Both players are very different in how they play and their body types. Hayden is 5'11" and weighs just under 200 pounds. McGill is 6'3" and 211 pounds. 

McGill will be a project for the Raiders both on and off the field. Taking him in the fourth round is good value for the Raiders because some think he could have gone in the third round. This is another good pick by Oakland because of the value and because cornerback is a position of need. 

 

What McGill Brings to the Table

Size and Athleticism

McGill is a big cornerback. He's taller and heavier than any of the cornerbacks on the roster right now. He has long arms and had one of the best vertical and broad jumps out of all the cornerbacks who attended the combine. McGill has big hands, and if he can use those along with his long arms to jam the opposing receiver, he can disrupt the timing of the passes.

He doesn't use his size as well as he should, but that doesn't mean he can't learn how. He doesn't have every trait you'd want from a cornerback, but his size is very intriguing and makes him worth the pick. 

 

Versatility

McGill has played safety before. I think the Raiders try to play him at cornerback, and I believe he'll find a home there for a couple of years. However, he could be used as a safety if he doesn't transition well as a cornerback in the NFL. General manager Reggie McKenzie likes versatile players who can be moved around when needed. 

Many think that McGill may be better suited to play safety because he does lack some cornerback qualities. However, the game is changing and his size is exactly what some teams are looking for in a cornerback. McGill gives the Raiders options in the secondary. 

 

Where McGill Fits

McGill will come in and play corner in his rookie year for the Raiders. Aside from Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown, the Raiders secondary is full of players who are 26 or younger. McGill is 25. So I expect McGill to come in and compete for playing time right away. I don't expect to see him as the starter, but he could earn more time than Chimdi Chekwa

McGill needs to improve on his tackling, so being put on special teams is not out of the question. McKenzie could use special teams as a way to get him some playing time early in the 2014 season.

While I don't see him as a starter in 2014, it doesn't mean he won't find his way on the field. In 2013, the Raiders gave significant playing time to players drafted in the third and sixth rounds, so McGill will have his opportunity to show he belongs on the field. 

The best-case scenario for McGill is to earn a starting position on the outside, forcing Hayden or Brown to move into the slot. 

 

Rookie Expectations

McGill will most likely find himself as the No. 4 or 5 cornerback on the depth chart early on. If he can learn to use his size to his advantage and commit to tackling in the run game, then he can earn more time as the season goes on. At this point, I don't know if I see him getting on the field much, unless there is an injury to one of the starting cornerbacks

I see him getting somewhere between 150 and 200 snaps this year with special teams and defense combined. McGill may just be a developmental cornerback for the Raiders who they see as a starter beyond the 2014 season.

It's hard to see him getting significant playing time this season. 

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