Oakland Raiders: Analyzing How Rookies Will Make Impact

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Keith McGill – CB, Utah – Round 4, Pick 116.

It’s a copycat league and the Oakland Raiders are hopeful that their big-bodied fourth-round draft pick will be a ‘Legion of Boom’ type player for them. At close to 6-foot-4 and 211-pounds, cornerback Keith McGill possesses a tremendous size and speed combination, running in the low 4.5’s during the combine. McGill has the athletic upside to cover the Andre Johnson and Brandon Marshall’s of the NFL and he’ll push offseason additions Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers for early playing time.

McGill has been a popular ‘steal of the draft’ pick amongst draft experts as many people had a second-round talent grade on him. Off-field issues and injury concerns caused McGill’s fall to the fourth-round, but if he can put these concerns behind him, he may very well end up being a big-time steal.

Nov 9, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes defensive back Keith McGill (1) tries to prevent a pass while Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver Jaelen Strong (21) keeps his eyes on the ball during the third quarter at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Arizona State Sun Devils won the game 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

McGill will see immediate playing time in dime packages and he also has experience playing safety, so don’t be surprised if he fills in as backup a free safety if Charles Woodson needs a break. One area to improve for McGill is his tackling so he may be plugged in on special teams to get some chances to improve on that.

A definite plus to help with McGill’s transition to the NFL is the power-conference conference that he played in. Being in the Pac-12, McGill faced NFL-caliber receivers throughout the season and that experience will prove valuable as he gets a feel for the NFL game.

Besides his athletic ability, McGill has fluid hips that allow him to shift from left to right quickly enough to keep up with faster receivers and he excels in press coverage, jamming receivers at the line. He’ll need to improve his footwork and refine his mechanics, something Charles Woodson is a master of.

Speaking of Woodson, he’ll be a perfect mentor for McGill. Woodson is a consummate professional and has had a brilliant career, both at Corner and at Safety, something McGill will hope to emulate.

In regard to his past off-field issues, McGill explained in his post-draft presser, “I didn’t realize that everything could be taken away in a flash and that the window was closing. I think right then and there, there comes a point in time of life where you make a decision to become a man or remain a boy, and that’s what I did before the 2013 season. It got me in the situation I am now.”

McGill has been adamant in all of his interviews since the draft that his past issues are exactly that, things of the past. His focus seems to be in the right place and he added that he is eager to get to work. If he can continue to improve fundamentally, pair that with his outstanding 39” vertical and extremely long 33” arms, McGill may very well end up being the steal of this draft.