- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Late last season, Oakland running back Taiwan Jones told reporters that he’d consider moving to cornerback to enhance his NFL career.
Now, with some time to think about it, the Raiders’ top decision-maker agrees with him.
“I’m pushing for cornerback,” Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie said Friday from the NFL combine. “I think it fits his skill set. I think we’re going to see how he does there.”
McKenzie acknowledged it will not be easy for Jones to make a position switch, but he thinks the speedy player can do it. McKenzie said he’d be thrilled if Jones could someday develop into a nickel cornerback.
McKenzie said he is most encouraged by Jones’ ability to make the switch because of his outstanding play on special teams. He has shown a strong ability to tackle, to go along with his speed. McKenzie said he had Jones projected as a cornerback when Oakland took him in the fourth round out of Eastern Washington in 2011.
Jones has had a hard time staying healthy and has made little impact. He has 94 career yards on 22 carries.
McKenzie reiterated that the plan remains to move Michael Huff to safety. He played cornerback last season in an emergency.
UPDATE: I asked Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. his thoughts on this proposed move for Jones and he thinks it will be difficult. This is what Williamson had to say: “Clearly, he has speed, but cornerbacks spend a ton of time backpedaling and flipping their hips in transition, as well as reading routes. Sounds like desperation to me.”
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