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Where do the Raiders stand at cornerback after NFL draft?

The Raiders’ draft plans changed once Georgia tight end Brock Bowers was available to be taken with the 13th overall pick in the NFL draft on April 25.

The team chose Bowers over a player at a more pressing position of need, like cornerback. The Raiders didn’t end up adding to their secondary, which has a vacant starting spot, until Day 3.

They grabbed Mississippi State cornerback Decamerion Richardson in the fourth round and Pittsburgh cornerback M.J. Devonshire in the seventh. Both rookies should be considered developmental players for now rather than candidates for the open starting spot next to incumbents Jack Jones and Nate Hobbs.

Where does that leave the Raiders? Here’s a look at where things stand:

Current roster

Starters: Jack Jones, Nate Hobbs

Others: Jakorian Bennett, Brandon Facyson, Decamerion Richardson, M.J. Devonshire, Sam Webb, Cornell Armstrong, Ja’Quan Sheppard, Rayshad Williams, Woo Governor

Breakdown: Hobbs and Jones are set as starters.

Hobbs is the Raiders’ top option in the slot, while Jones will line up on the outside. The battle for the other outside spot opposite Jones should be one of the biggest storylines in training camp.

Bennett, a 2023 fourth-round pick, began last season as the starter. But injuries set him back and allowed Amik Robertson to take the job. Robertson joined the Detroit Lions in free agency, opening the door for Bennett again.

Facyson suffered a leg injury in training camp last year that limited him to 44 defensive snaps. He’s served as a rotational player most of his career but has enough starting experience to take on a larger role if needed.

Webb was signed by the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2022 and has played in 18 NFL games since. Armstrong is in his sixth season but has mostly been a practice-squad player.

The Raiders added competition in the form of Richardson, who ran a 4.34 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine and posted excellent testing numbers. His athleticism could get him on the field fast but he also has some technical issues to iron out.

Devonshire has good size at 5-foot-11, 179 pounds and plays bigger than his height thanks to his excellent wing span and arm length. The Raiders were happy to get him in the seventh round.

Sheppard, Williams, and Governor were all signed as undrafted free agents this year.

Potential outside additions

The Raiders will use their organized team activities and mandatory minicamp over the next four weeks to get a handle on where they stand at cornerback.

They would like to leave those workouts comfortable enough to stand pat. They do have the means to add a free agent if they don’t like what they see.

The Raiders are $21 million under the NFL’s $255.4 million salary cap, but their available space will grow to $45 million when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s release hits the books June 2.

Former Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard is one possible option. He played under Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham in Miami in 2019.

Another veteran cornerback with experience with Graham is Adoree Jackson, who played under him with the Giants in 2021. Other free agents still available include J.C. Jackson, Stephon Gilmore and Steven Nelson.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on X.

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