The Las Vegas Raiders selected a couple of cornerbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft. With a couple of sophomores vying for the chance to start, the position is ripe for competition.
The Raiders had a subpar cornerback unit in 2019. Their secondary gave up plays on a constant basis due to a scarcity of talent and inexperience. Trayvon Mullen, Isaiah Johnson, and Keisean Nixon were first-year players, and other than Mullen, they were not able to contribute much. Daryl Worley was a mixed bag on the field and Nevin Lawson didn’t produce many plays.
General manager Mike Mayock went into the draft looking to give a makeover to the cornerback room. He selected Damon Arnette with the 19th overall pick and Amik Robertson with the 139th. Moreover, the Raiders decided against bringing back Worley but re-signed Lawson.
The Raiders 2nd-Year Cornerbacks Will Spice Things Up
Last year, Johnson suffered an injury that hindered his chances to make an impact. He hardly got dressed and couldn’t see the field much. Now healthy, he will get a chance to display his skill set. On the other hand, Nixon had the opportunity to play towards the end of the 2019 season. His play was far from perfect but good enough to warrant a deeper look. Enter Arnette and Robertson, who are competitive by nature and will challenge for one starting spot.
Arnette is loud and in many ways, different from fellow Ohio State alumnus, Gareon Conley. He will bring intensity to the Raiders cornerback group which lacked it in 2019. Likewise, Robertson brings an element of physicality the team was surely craving last season. These additions should only make Mullen better, who will likely keep developing in his second year.
The Slot May Also Be Up for the Grabs
The Raiders may often deploy three cornerbacks at the same time. Slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner plays has made more of an impact at safety. It will be interesting to see if Joyner will remain on the slot or will be moved back to his more natural position. In case he changes position or his play suffers from ineffectiveness, one of the young corners could see playing time in the slot.
The Raiders must welcome competition and have their corners earn starting roles. Whoever wins will be the best suited to see playing time.
You May Also Like: Raiders 2018 Draft Doesn’t Look Good in Retrospect
Top Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images