The Las Vegas Raiders have one side of their defensive backfield locked down with cornerback Trayvon Mullen. Meanwhile, the other side is up for grabs apparently.
The Silver and Black have quite the battle brewing at cornerback opposite of Mullen. Rookie Damon Arnette is trying to position himself as the Day 1 starter, as he should considering his first-round pick status. Meanwhile, veteran Prince Amukamara is coming in to compete, more importantly, he’s trying to show he can still be a starter in the NFL.
Raiders general manager Mike Mayock knew Paul Guenther’s defense was seriously devoid of talent at cornerback. Other than Mullen, the only other promising long-term prospect last year was Isaiah Johnson. So with the second of their first-round 2020 NFL Draft picks, the Raiders went with Arnette. Initially, a selection that was scrutinized by the media, now it seems Arnette could be an instant starter. The only thing standing in Arnette’s way this year might be Amukamara.
The Raiders are in a win-win situation…
Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus recently spotlighted the battle between these two as he projected the team’s starting lineup.
“It doesn’t appear as if Arnette is simply going to hand Amukamara that job opposite Mullen — a promising development for the Raiders after many thought they overdrafted Arnette midway through the first round. There is even a feeling starting to build now that it’s Arnette’s job to lose.”
Many people assumed that due to Amukamara’s experience combined with an altered offseason would delay Arnette’s development. In spite of that, Linsey points out that as of right now, it appears Arnette might end up starting out of the gate. Either way, it’s a good dilemma to have if you’re the Raiders. Amukamara has been a consistent cornerback his entire career, never grading below 66.3.
Ohio State CB Damon Arnette didn’t give up more than 1 TD in any of his four full collegiate seasons.
— PFF College (@PFF_College) August 25, 2020
Arnette’s impressive collegiate career bodes well for him, giving up just one touchdown in four seasons is just one of his accomplishments. In the end, the Raiders are winners out of all this because they, in fact, are in better shape at cornerback than they’ve been in years.
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*Top Photo: Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports