Daryl Worley doesn't lack confidence.
The Raiders cornerback is heading into this month’s training camp with a belief he’s just getting started on showing he can be an elite NFL player.
The former third-round draft pick out of West Virginia, selected by the Carolina Panthers, was released by the Philadelphia Eagles last April after he played 2016 and 2017 with Carolina. The Raiders quickly signed him and – after Worley served a suspension for a DUI arrest while with the Eagles – came on strong for Oakland, starting nine of his 10 games with the team. In those games he had an interception, seven passes defensed and 33 combined tackles. He had started 25 games for the Panthers in his two seasons in Carolina. The Raiders re-signed Worley in April, despite the fact the analytic website Pro Football Focus graded Worley as the NFL’s seventh-worst qualifying cornerback in the league in 2018. The Raiders liked what they'd seen from him.
Worley recently told Levi Damien of SB Nation he believes he and former No. 1 pick Gareon Conley can evolve into one of the league’s top cornerback duos – and one of the Raiders’ best duos ever.
"That’s something Coach (Jon) Gruden has been emphasizing to us this year," Worley told Damien. "We are at that point in our careers where it’s the prime and for our team to thrive we feel as if we have to be playing at the highest clip as well."
But, competition should be fierce for the cornerback job opposite Conley. Oakland selected Trayvon Mullen in this spring’s second round of the draft and Mullen will get an opportunity to prove he’s worthy.
Gruden became a big fan of Worley’s last season when the cornerback played through the pain of a shoulder injury. He believes Worley has overcome some obstacles in his brief career and has his best seasons ahead.
"He’s a tough guy," Gruden said recently. "He’s also had some adversity in his career. I’ve got a lot of respect for the way a man can get up off the ground, dust himself off, give it another opportunity."