The Las Vegas Raiders signed Prince Amukamara to bolster their secondary. After adding the veteran corner, the Silver and Black have a good problem at the position.
The Raiders have aggressively addressed their need for good cornerback play, something they rarely had last year. Besides inking Amukamara, they selected Damon Arnette and Amik Robertson in the 2020 NFL Draft. They currently have many players at the position, but Trayvon Mullen is the only one slated to start. Whoever plays opposite of the sophomore will be do so after competing for the job, something that will bode well for the team’s defense.
Are the Rookies Ready
The Raiders needed a veteran cornerback because the position group as whole is young. Were Arnette to start, it would go on to show the the team is willing to see him take his share of bumps and bruises. As a first-round pick, he’s part of the team’s long-term plans. It’s likely they want to see him take the field as soon as possible. He displayed shutdown corner traits in college, he now has to show he can do the same in the NFL.
Let the Best Cornerback Start
On the other hand, if Amukamara starts, it won’t be the end of the world. On the contrary, that would mean the Raiders see him as the as the best choice to start. After all, he has the experience and can warm up the position while Arnette gets ready. There’s a reason why PFF thinks he’s Las Vegas most underrated free agent addition.
Furthermore, Isaiah Johnson and Keisean Nixon would be in play for the job. The former is fully healthy and the latter finished last season strong. Amukamara should have the advantage, but Arnette, Nixon and Johnson will make things interesting. Regardless of who starts, Amukamara will have a mentor kind of role for the team and will likely take the youngsters under his wing.
Last season, the Raiders cornerback unit was responsible for only three interception. Meanwhile, they were part of a defense that allowed 33 passing touchdowns. They need do a better job at creating turnovers and stopping opposing offenses from scoring. Amukamara should help them do so.
The Raiders lacked playmakers at the cornerback position last year. If the moves they have made in the offseason pay off, that won’t longer be the case.
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Top Photo: Nam Y. Hu/Associated Press