It wasn’t that long ago when certain players would see time on both sides of the ball in the NFL. The best example is Deion Sanders, who was an All-Pro cornerback and the No. 3 receiver for the Cowboys for a few seasons. We’ve seen other plays do in the past, such as Julian Edelman and Troy Brown.
But is there a player currently on the Raiders that would be able to play multiple positions if the team needed him? That was a question that ESPN posed to their 32 beat writers and the answers were fascinating for every franchise.
For the Raiders, the answer was a bit surprising. According to Paul Gutierrez, the best possible two-way player on the roster is actually Zay Jones. Given his height, weight and speed, could he survive as an outside cornerback in a Cover-3 scheme? Here are Gutierrez’s thoughts on the hypothetical position switch:
“If general manager Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden have said it once, they have said it a million times: Jones is the most physically fit player on the Raiders roster. No, he is not the fastest, nor is he the biggest. But imagine Las Vegas gambling and playing him as a mirror image of himself at outside cornerback. He already understands route concepts and, with his athleticism, can stay in receivers’ pockets. He could even use his core-strength elevation technique to unnerve opponents from the defensive side of the ball. Plus, with hands better than any defensive back, imagine the picks.”
Jones certainly would have the length and the ball skills to win at the position, but the technique would take some work. However, his overall athleticism and work ethic would give him a chance to survive on the outside.
Who else do you think could play both ways for the Raiders, if needed? We want to hear your answers to this fascinating question.