Cornerback Sean Smith
Heading into 2016, General Manager Reggie McKenzie and Head Coach Jack Del Rio knew that they had to address the depth of the Raiders' secondary.
After an improved season across the board in 2015, the Silver and Black's defense still finished ranked No. 26 in pass defense, allowing 258 yards per game through the air.
Cornerback David Amerson delivered an impressive season for the team after being waived by the Washington Redskins and joining the Raiders prior to Week 3. However, behind Amerson, the team wasn't able to really find any depth at the position, which is precisely why they signed free agent cornerback Sean Smith in March.
During his first seven seasons, Smith established himself as a top-tier defender in the NFL, totaling 10 interceptions and 87 passes defensed, and in *SI.com’s *recent ranking of the league's best outside cornerbacks, the new Raider checked in at No. 8.
"If they want to, the Raiders could send a pair of 6' 3" giants out to the boundaries in Week 1 between successful reclamation project David Amerson and Smith, the crazy-long free agency acquisition who will be expected to set the tone in a new-look Oakland secondary," wrote Eric Single. "The Chiefs' stout front seven helped raise Smith's profile, and the Raiders' other off-season moves put them in position to replicate that sort of pressure and allow Smith to leave QBs even tighter windows."
The rest of the Top 10 list is as follows:
- Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks
- Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals
- Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo Bills
- Darrelle Revis, New York Jets
- Chris Harris, Denver Broncos
- Josh Norman, Washington Redskins
- Vontae Davis, Indianapolis Colts
- Desmond Trufant, Atlanta Falcons
- Marcus Peters, Kansas City Chiefs