Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has said that he wants his team to get bigger and stronger. He added a big and strong cornerback with the 219th pick in the draft. Travis Carrie is 6'0" and weighs 206 pounds. He is also an athlete, as he was an All-MAC first-team punt returner.
Carrie recorded four interceptions in 2013 and earned third-team All-MAC honors. The Raiders will have multiple ways they could use Carrie, which makes him more valuable to McKenzie. He ran a 4.45 40 on his pro day, so I would not be surprised if he gets an opportunity to return punts in 2014.
What Carrie Brings to the Table
Carrie is a player who can come in and make a difference on special teams right away whether he's returning kicks or chasing down a kick returner. Carrie has ideal size and speed for the cornerback position but has to improve on his footwork and burst.
Carrie has good hands and is a very good athlete. He's a good locker room guy and was team captain at Ohio in 2013. His development will be fun to watch as he could be a quality cornerback in the league. Not many seventh-round picks make it very far in the league, but when you are as athletic and versatile as Carrie, you have a shot.
Where Carrie Fits
Carrie will most likely find the majority of his playing time on special teams. He does have the ability to get on the field as a cornerback, but it may not be much in 2014. If he can use his size and speed effectively, he may work his way up the depth chart with his special teams play.
The Raiders are looking for consistency from a kick returner, as they couldn't get it from Jacoby Ford the last couple of years. Carrie could be used in multiple roles on special teams like Taiwan Jones. Carrie is what McKenzie refers to as a "football player."
Carrie's versatility and ability to play special teams will be the biggest reason he makes the roster and has an impact in 2014.
I expect Carrie to become the next exciting young player on special teams for the Raiders. The Raider Nation saw what Jones did this past year for the Raiders, and I expect Carrie to do similar things. Look for Carrie to make a big play on special teams during the preseason and earn some reps as a punt returner for the Raiders in 2014.