The Raiders went into last season with a glut of safeties. It was a nice problem to have and one that they have not been able to claim for many years. But now it appears the team will be cutting ties with starting free safety Michael Huff and there is no clear-cut replacement on the team. So it looks as if they could very well select a safety in the draft to compete for the position.
Here are a few players who fit the bill:
Jerrard Tarrant, Georgia Tech - Round 4
He has only started at safety for one season after spending the first few years of his college career as a corner. The move to safety as a senior was a successful one but he still needs some work. He had an off-field issue three years ago in which he was accused of rape (charges were later dropped) that kept him out the entire 2008 season. But the mere fact that he is considered a mid-round prospect despite it all should tell you how highly his potential is regarded. He is versatile, fast, and has good size at 6-1, 204 -- all of which are attributes Al Davis covets in a safety.
Deunta Williams, North Carolina - Round 5
Deunta has great size at 6-2, 205 lbs. He broke his leg near the end of last season and has yet to run for scouts this offseason but prior to that, he had a projected 40 time of 4.45 which is quite good for a safety and especially good for someone of his stature. His injury may not have him ready by the time the draft rolls around, which will cause him to drop a bit more than he probably should. He was also among the NC players who were suspended the first four games of last season so his stat totals aren't as good as they could be. But Al Davis just sees that as an opportunity to get a late round steal.
Chris Prosinski, Wyoming - Round 6
He didn't run at the combine but he posted a stellar 4.39 40 at his Pro Day. That would have been the best time at the 2011 combine among safeties and top five overall. He is a free safety but last season he had the tackle numbers of a safety or a middle linebacker. He had 140 tackles and six passes defended for the Cowboys. That kind of numbers combined with his Pro Day workout could see him move up the draft board if he catches a team's eye. That team could be the Raiders.
Keanemana Silva, Hawaii - Round 7
Speaking of players who have caught the eye of the Raiders, Silva recently held a workout in Carson California that the Raiders attended. At that Pro Day he ran a 4.44 40 yard dash which is great for a player of his size (6-1, 206). He also showed an astounding 40 inch vertical leap. That would have been easily the best vertical among safeties at this year's combine (by nearly five inches).
Chris Culliver out of South Carolina and Chris L Rucker out of Michigan State are two other players who played both safety and corner in whom the Raiders could show interest. See the Raider draft radar: Cornerbacks for their analysis as well as all the other potential Raider cornerbacks in this draft.
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what about robert sands possible 3rd rounder i really like what he brings to the table, with the recievers in the afc west his size and physicallity.
Personally, I see the Raiders drafting either Culliver or Silva, if available in the later rounds. I am really impressed with what I have seen with Silva, and think his addition to the Raiders would be fantastic. His only knock is that he hasn't faced the quality competition that a guy like Culliver has, but his athleticism is off the charts and he definitely has that toughness that could make him very successful in the NFL...
@kvnbntly The concerns with Sands is, first of all, his history of shoulder injuries. Secondly, he is too stiff to line up in man coverage the way the Raiders often ask their free safety to do. Sands is 6-4 but there is not much meat on his bones to go with it. He is not a great fit for the Raiders for those reasons IMO.