Raider Ramble is back at it with more reviews of your favorite Raiders players in 2019. Next up is cornerback Nevin Lawson.
Lawson inked a one-year deal with the Raiders after spending five years with the Detroit Lions. One of my main concerns when he signed was he had never logged an interception in his career. Spoiler alert: He finished the 2019 season without one.
Lawson began the season on a four-game suspension for a positive PED drug test, which he took full responsibility for.
“I am responsible for knowing every single ingredient that goes into my body, and I apparently failed in this regard.”
Upon his return to the field, Lawson had 22 solo tackles and allowed 15 receptions with 24 targets in 11 games. Pro Football Focus gave him an overall grade of 60.8 for his performance in the year.
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Unfortunately for Lawson, his most infamous moment of the season possibly came on December 1, 2019, where Patrick Mahomes was facing heavy pressure and attempted a pass across the field with no open receiver in sight. The ball landed directly in Lawson’s path but he dropped it, prompting criticism from peers (Darius Slay in particular) and fans. The interception would not have been a game changer as the Raiders lost that game 40-9 with the Chiefs logging in two interceptions, one being a pick six, but he passed on the chance to be a bright spot for the Silver and Black in that game. He did have the spotlight against the Chargers, when he totaled four passes defensed. Lawson’s season ended with a one game suspension for the 2020 season after an altercation against the Broncos in the Week 17 loss for allegedly using his helmet as a weapon.
Most would believe that Lawson’s career in Oakland would be done after a mediocre season that ended in disciplinary action from the league. However, he received a one-year extension worth $3.29 million for the 2020 season. While the information prior to his signing doesn’t match that of a starting cornerback, Lawson was re-signed at a decent price and his flexibility within the secondary is what makes him an attractive transaction for the Raiders. He lined up in an array of positions playing corner on both sides of the field and the nickel spot and at times, he provided better coverage than Lamarcus Joyner, who was named the starter and currently holds that position.
Based on film study and statistical evidence, Lawson will not likely partake in the Raiders starting lineup in 2020. Also, the front office will probably pursue an additional corner to compliment Trayvon Mullen, who solidified his place at the top of the depth chart. Nonetheless, he is an inexpensive second option for a defense that is hoping to be rebuilt in time to make a strong run when the season kicks off in September (hopefully).
Look to see Lawson filling in those gaps when called upon and maybe he will see his first interception in 2020.
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