Oakland Raiders: Most Surprising Moves On Cut Down Day

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Aug 22, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Chase Ford (86) holds on to a pass for a touchdown as he takes a hit from Oakland Raiders safety Brandian Ross (29) and and cornerback Dexter McDonald (21) in the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Ross was penalized on the play for unnecessary roughness. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Dexter McDonald Makes The Squad

McKenzie and Del Rio seem to really like their late round draft picks. A year after the Raiders used a seventh round draft pick on cornerback Travis Carrie – who turned out to be pretty darn good – they were hoping to catch lightning in a bottle a second time by taking McDonald out of the University of Kansas in the seventh round of this year’s draft.

Given the fact that McDonald has had a relatively unremarkable summer, and hasn’t had much of an impact over the course of the exhibition season, the fact that he has made the 53 man roster comes as something of a fairly big surprise. Yes, he played fairly well overall against the Seahawks in the exhibition finale, but other than that, he has barely made a ripple.

Clearly, Del Rio is banking on McDonald’s upside and is hoping that secondary coach Rod Woodson – as well as the ageless Charles Woodson – can help develop the youngster into a competent corner.

McDonald’s inclusion on the 53 man roster seems to really speak to the lack of depth and viable bodies among Oakland’s cornerbacks group. With D.J. Hayden, Keith McGill, Carrie, Chimdi Chekwa, SaQwan Edwards, and Neiko Thorpe filling out the group, the Raiders are clearly hoping that barring the trade for or signing of a free agent veteran, that one of these youngsters can step up and provide some steady reliability in Oakland’s defensive backfield.

Clearly, Del Rio is hoping that McDonald can be one of the guys who steps up and seizes the reins.

Next: A Big Surprise in the Ground Game