The Raiders to look to draft one of the Alabama Football cornerbacks

The Alabama football program has been the Raiders’ go-to source lately for possible franchise pillars. During the Nick Saban era, the Raiders used their first-round selections on Alex Leatherwood, Henry Ruggs, Josh Jacobs, Amari Cooper, and Rolando McClain. The Raiders may once more target Tuscaloosa with their first-round selection in an attempt to strengthen their defense. Antonio Pierce was elevated by the Raiders from linebackers coach to head coach. Given Pierce’s defensive experience, the Raiders will probably prioritize that aspect of the game this summer. The Raiders, who will pick 13th in this year’s NFL Draft, are most in need of a cornerback because they have relied on late-round selections and free agents to fill positions.

What makes the Raiders want to add a cornerback in the NFL Draft more than anything else? The Raiders play two top-10 quarterbacks with excellent weapons twice a year because they are in the same division as the Chiefs, Chargers, and Broncos. There are some quarterbacking problems for the Chiefs with Travis Kelce, Rashee Rice, and Patrick Mahomes; the Chargers with Justin Herbert, Mike Williams, and Keenan Allen; and the Broncos with Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Marvin Mims, who together will be a nightmare for opposing defenders.

Although Patrick Graham, the defensive coordinator for the Raiders, has a track record of creating strong defenses against the pass, the success of his scheme depends on his cornerbacks. Graham’s defense allowed quarterbacks to pass for only 225.8 yards per game in 2021, which placed them fourth in the NFL for pass defense. But Graham had two of the best cornerbacks in the NFL in James Bradberry and Adoree Jackson on his Giants defenses.

The Case for Kool-Aid McKinstry


Since his freshman season, Kool-Aid McKinstry has been mentioned as a potential top-ten choice, but many would argue that he is experiencing “Draft Fatigue.” As a result, experts are now considering dropping him down their draft boards. If Graham chooses to advocate for increased press attention in 2024, McKinstry ought to be their first choice without a doubt. McKinstry does exceptionally well in press coverage, something that most college corners find difficult, and his skills will be quickly applied in an NFL game.

Just 43 passes were made to McKinstry by opposing quarterbacks in 2023, when he was frequently assigned to cover the team’s best receiver. McKinstry’s eagerness and ability to tackle, which frequently results in big plays during the run game, are also impressive aspects of his game. McKinstry will be more effective as a man corner, but he has also demonstrated skill in zone defense; with more time spent in a zone, he might improve in both areas.

Given that we haven’t seen McKinstry tested deeply, scouts’ main concerns about him are his downfield speed and agility. McKinstry will establish himself as the best cornerback in the draft class if he can run a strong 40-yard sprint at the combine this spring.

McKinstry ought to be the first choice in the class, especially at a position like cornerback where teams consistently gamble on attributes rather than guys who have demonstrated their ability to play. McKinstry has demonstrated that, while his ceiling is a potential All-Pro, his floor as an NFL cornerback is probably going to be a starting cornerback for most teams. McKinstry’s size of 6’1 and 195 pounds should not cause any concern; if teams choose only based on his tape, he will be the first corner off the board in April.

The Case for Terrion Arnold

Terrion Arnold is sure to be discussed and might even be chosen if the Raiders decide against selecting McKinstry because of concerns about his speed or because they want a cornerback with a “higher ceiling.” Arnold being selected in the first round would have been a stretch, and going into this season, most draft pundits and even some members of the Alabama Football program would have anticipated to see Arnold return to Tuscaloosa for 2024. Arnold, on the other hand, became one of the best cornerbacks in the nation and greatly improved his draft stock.

Terrion Arnold’s potential, along with his significant progress in 2023, makes him the better cornerback in the class than other players. Arnold’s explosive agility and extraordinary length make him a valuable man coverage asset, particularly as he develops into a cornerback. He might, however, also be among the best zone corners in the draft class and, in the early stages of his career, among the best in the league. Arnold possesses the intellect necessary for NFL zone coverage, particularly after participating in a defense led by Nick Saban and Kevin Steele that is NFL-style.

Arnold’s length, size, and style of play are comparable to James Bradberry’s, who signed with Graham as a Pro-Bowler in 2020. Even on early downs, Graham employs a hybrid cover three and cover six defensive, much like Nick Saban employed at Alabama. Given that Patrick Graham’s defense employs zone, Terrion Arnold seems like a better long-term fit for the Raiders given his developmental potential.

Which former Alabama football player is taken by the Raiders?

The Alabama football program may have the two best cornerback prospects in this year’s class, which is exactly what the Las Vegas Raiders need in their roster. Terrion Arnold will probably be chosen over Kool-Aid McKinstry, though.

Teams weren’t as afraid of Arnold early on, so Arnold had the ideal opportunity to have his greatest season just before the draft and make plays. While he has all the tools, Arnold isn’t as polished of a player as Kool-Aid, so organizations will be drawn to his growth potential. Arnold is the choice because of his talent and ability to fit in with a zone-heavy defense like Patrick Graham’s. Arnold and McKinstry are a surefire way for teams to win this year’s

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