NFL teams are now reporting to work, which means the NFL season is just around the corner.
As the Raiders begin to report to training camps, there are a few things they need to pass before they get on the practice field, and that is a COVID-19 test and their physicals.
Once they give that, the coaches can begin to select their 53-man roster.
As we have been covering the Raiders' matchups on offense, we now change our focus to the defense.
The Raiders offense added tons of weapons this offseason, and with that being so, Jon Gruden and the Raiders will have to look at critical matchups this season potentially.
As we start on the defensive side, we’re going to start with the top five corners the Silver and Black will go against.
At No. 5, we have former Dallas Cowboy Byron Jones. After spending his first five years as a Cowboy, Jones decided to join the Miami Dolphins this offseason.
As a Cowboy, he was targeted 53 times, allowing a 56 percent completion rate last season.
Jones appeared to need a change of scenery, and he did, as he took his talents to South Beach. The Raiders will meet up in Miami toward the end of the season in Week 16.
Jones is still a player to watch out for as the season progresses.
The Raiders are very familiar with No. 4, former Denver Broncos and now Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Chris Harris Jr.
Another cornerback jumped ship this offseason.
In 2019, Harris allowed a 69 percent completion rate on 68 targets, making one interception and one forced fumble. The Broncos might have seen a tremendous drop in production and gave Harris a chance to hit free agency.
As for the Chargers, they picked up a divisional rival who is familiar with its opposing receivers and still has gas in the tank.
At No. 3, we have Harris' teammate, Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward Jr, a veteran player who is on the verge of having a breakout season.
Hayward finished the season with the fourth-highest defensive grade for a cornerback, 83.0. He allowed a 56 percent completion rate, making eight pass deflections and two interceptions.
Hayward is on a Chargers team that added depth in the secondary to match up against the high-powered offenses in the AFC West. The Raiders will see Harris and Hayward on Weeks 9 and 15.
At No. 2, we have Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White. White had a breakout season a year ago, putting himself on the list of the best defensive backs in the league. Yet, he is considered to be one of the most underrated players in the NFL.
In 2019, White finished the season tied first for the most interceptions at six. White also recorded 50 solo tackles, two forced fumbles and one sack. White allowed a remarkable 55 percent of 84 targets, 14th-most targeted players.
White, the leader of Bills defense, will travel to Las Vegas on week 4.
At the top of the list, we have another member of the Madden 99 Club, New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Gilmore is the best defensive player the Raiders will match up against this season, having tied for first for the most interceptions last season with six, and will face the Raiders in Week 3.
The seventh-most targeted cornerback a year ago, Gilmore allowed only a 48.9 completion rate and was the fifth-highest graded defensive back by PFF at 82.7.
However, the Patriots defense has lost the talents of Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung due to COVID-19 precautions.
Other notable cornerbacks who will face the Raiders this season include Desmond King II of the Chargers, Denzel Ward of the Cleveland Browns and Marshon Lattimore of the New Orleans Saints.
Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
Want the latest breaking Las Vegas Raiders news delivered straight to your email for FREE? Sign up for the DAILY Raiders Nation newsletter when you CLICK THE FOLLOW button on the main page. Don't miss any of the latest up to the second updates for your Las Vegas Raiders when you follow on Twitter @HondoCarpenter