With the 113th pick in the 2011 draft the Oakland Raiders select, Chimdi Chekwa – cornerback from Ohio State. He is one of the best players left in this draft and it is a really solid pick at this point. Standing 6’0” and weighing in at 191 pounds, yet running a 4.40 forty, he clearly fits the length and speed ratio that the Raiders look for in their DB’s.
Chekwa has really smooth hip motion and is a willing tackler. He needs to work on his field awareness because sometimes he gets tunnel vision and doesn’t see things that are happening around him. His best defense comes against quick passes such as slant, but because of his aggressiveness, he often falls for pump fakes and double moves.
He is a hard worker and will prove to be very coachable for new cornerbacks coach Rod Woodson. Chekwa somewhat makes up for the reach on Van Dyke earlier in the draft. CBS sports had Chekwa ranked the 65th best player overall in this draft, so to get him at 113 is a high value pick for the Raiders.
Levi Damien says: "Chekwa is a pretty well established corner. He was a good pick as far as i can tell. Smart guy too. Academic All American. The Raiders need as many of those as they can get."
Scouts think Chekwa is a guy who can be a starting cornerback at the next level of competition. One of the concerns the Raiders will have to address is his open field tackling, which appears to be a problem, judging from his college tape.
But Chekwa most likely fell this far because of a nagging hip injury that limited his ability in 2010. He also suffered a wrist injury in the Sugar Bowl that required surgery which put him in a soft cast as late as February of this year. But even with that nagging hip injury he managed 42 tackles, four for a loss, and team high nine deflected passes. He also added three interceptions. He is also considered a decent man-to-man coverage cornerback and is excellent at adjusting to the ball in the air and recovering in coverage when he gets behind.
Clearly, the Raiders plan in this draft was to have a back-up plan in the case that All-Pro CB Nnamdi Asomugha leaves in free agency. However, Chekwa is a guy that figures to translate well if he were to have to move over and play free safety, competing for Michael Huff’s former position as the Raiders’ center fielder.
This is a mentally tough player that really gets inspired and tends to make his best plays after giving up touchdowns against receivers he is covering. He was first-team All-Big 10 his year and second team All-American. A 2010 Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist, a 2010 Bednarik Award semifinalist, with 39 career starts. For his career at Ohio State, 145 tackles, 28 pass deflections, six interceptions, and a forced fumble.