Since being taken in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, Keith McGill hasn’t made much of an impact for the Raiders.
The former Utah standout has played 25 games at cornerback and on special teams for Oakland, started just one and has zero interceptions and only nine tackles.
His biggest play came in December of 2014 against the Broncos when he made his lone start because of injuries in the Oakland secondary, and returned a fumble – a backward pass that bounced off the hands of a Denver running back – for a touchdown in the Raiders’ 47-14 loss.
But now McGill will get a chance to play a bigger role by switching to safety.
McGill – who was big for a corner at 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds – is switching to safety to shore up a position that was very thin in 2015 because of injuries.
But, the competition should be tough this spring and summer following the return to health of veteran Nate Allen, the free-agent signing of Reggie Nelson and the addition of No. 1 draft choice Karl Joseph.
According to assistant defensive backs coach Rod Woodson, the Raiders believe McGill can be a plus to the team’s safety corps.
“He’s very lengthy,” Woodson said in a recent interview on the radio show of NFL Network analyst Rich Eisen. “I think he could be a really good safety in the National Football League. And then we got some young guys who are starting to get a feel for who they are and how good they can be.”
McGill had success at safety before being converted to cornerback at Utah. He was a first-team All-America safety at Cerritos College before transferring to Utah, and was the 11th-ranked player in the nation among all junior college players by Rivals.com. In his best season as a safety at Cerritos, he had seven interceptions. McGill played one season at safety at Utah before making the switch to cornerback, where he received honorable mention on the all-Pac-12 team.