After years of futility at the cornerback position, the Las Vegas Raiders have plenty of potential heading into Week 1. Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette will have their hands full against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
The Raiders young cornerbacks will face a couple of good receivers
The Raiders selected two cornerbacks in 2019’s draft and added another one after the event. They chose Mullen in the second round, Isaiah Johnson in the fourth, and signed Keisean Nixon as an undrafted free agent. All of them are currently part of the team’s 53 man roster and Mullen will be one of the starting cornerbacks against the Panthers. The other starter opposite of the Clemson standout will be Damon Arnette. The Raiders drafted the Ohio State product this year and even though they want to bring him along slowly, they felt comfortable enough with him that they released veteran Prince Amukamara.
As promising as Mullen and Arnette are, they won’t have an easy matchup on Sunday. They will face wide receivers Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore. Anderson has averaged 15.0 yards per catch in the last two years and one of his five touchdowns last season was 92 yards. The Raiders need to account for him on every play or run the risk of getting burned.
On the other hand, Moore had a breakout season in 2019. The Panthers wide receiver had 87 catches for 1,175 yards and four touchdowns. Although his yard-per-catch average wasn’t as high as Anderson’s, it was still very good at 13.8. The Raiders can’t afford to focus too much on running back Christian McCaffrey and forget about Anderson and Moore.
Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette are up to the challenge
Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther feels confident about Mullen and Arnette. He believes that they have put in the work and has seen enough of them to trust them on Sunday. The coordinator said in his last press conference that both of them had a good training camp and is looking forward to seeing them play against the Panthers.
You prepare, you win and you lose the game Monday through Friday. That’s when I get the most nervous about those games is those three days that we’re showing the right things, we’re putting them in the right situation, whether it be a tough snap or an easy snap, whatever may be and when it comes to Sundays, it’s a players’s day, it’s a players game. I have the utmost confidence in both guys they showed well out here for the training camp so I’m excited to see them play.
While Arnette will start his first game in the NFL, this will be Mullen’s 11th. Although it’s not the same to go against their teammates in practice than it is against other teams, the duo should do fine in Week1 one based on what Guenther said.
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Top Photo: John Locher/Associated Press