The Las Vegas Raiders decided to go all out and splurge on defensive backs this past NFL draft. Former Illinois cornerback Nate Hobbs got the call in the fifth round.
The Raiders’ secondary is a very young unit heading into the 2021 season and this year’s draft haul has a lot to do with that. Damon Arnette, Trayvon Mullen, and Isaiah Johnson all figure to have long-term roles under defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. The team also recently added former Pro Bowl cornerback Casey Hayward to shore up the unit. Hayward’s veteran leadership and experience will be much needed after so many prospects were added via the draft. Among this recent infusion of youth is Hobbs, the fifth-round choice appears to be have been a solid pickup.
The Raiders could have themselves a solid cornerback one day…
ClutchPoints recently graded all of the picks that Las Vegas made and it appears Hobbs’ selection was well received. The 167th overall selection figures to be an immediate contributor on special teams as he polishes his game. They also highlight that he has a penchant for helping to stop the run, something the Raiders desperately need.
“Hobbs is a solid corner prospect and has an aggressive approach to the game. Unlike most corners, he is very engaged when it comes to stopping the run.”
It appears that Pro Football Focus also shares that sentiment, they graded Hobbs’ run defense at 69.5 for the 2020 season. He also notched 12.5 tackles for a loss in his four years at Illinois along with 11 passes defended. Hobbs can clearly make plays and knows how to get to the ball but can also break up plays in the backfield if need be. Our own Jason Willis believes that Hobbs will have the benefit of learning and playing under Bradley’s tutelage. Given his experience in the Cover 3 scheme in college, he’ll be a natural fit for Bradley as Willis points out. If Hobbs turns out to be a solid contributor, it could help mark a turnaround with the Raiders defense further indicating Bradley was indeed the right hire.
You May Also Like: Raiders DE Malcolm Koonce Brings Breath Of Fresh Air To Pass Rush
*Top Photo: Official Raiders Website/Video Channel