Raiders’ Taiwan Jones converts to corner

After showing some promise in the stead of Darren McFadden, former running back Taiwan Jones is making the switch to cornerback.

Oakland ranked 20th in passing yards allowed and 28th in rushing yards allowed in 2012 season. To shore up their defensive backfield, the Raiders added former Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins and drafted DJ Hayden with their first round pick in the offseason.

Jones played cornerback in high school, and Head Coach Dennis Allen told SFGate he hopes Jones can make the transition smoothly:

“He’s got that physical ability to play the game. … There are still a lot of things that we have to get cleaned up. Just understanding how to play the cornerback position from alignments, assignments and stuff like that.”

Other running backs that have recently made the switch to corner include the New York Jets’ Joe McKnight last season and Eagles’ Bruce Perry in 2006.

Neither of the two made what many might consider a successful conversion, if that means continually starting at corner and becoming an impact player. Jones told SFGate he was excited to still be on the Raiders’ roster:

“I was kind of upset I couldn’t show everybody what kind of running back I could be but I think it’s a good thing as far as my career. It’s going pretty good, and I am having fun.”