It wasn’t long ago when we were talking about the Las Vegas Raiders and their draft selections. Now, we can see how their selections perform on the football field. Two weeks into the season, cornerback Damon Arnette has had ups and downs, which is expected from first-year players.
The Raiders went with what they thought was the best for them
The Raiders selected Arnette with the 19th overall pick in this year’s selection process. Although some questioned the choice, the team’s brass was happy with their choice. The Silver and Black’s secondary needed upgrades after being a liability in 2019. The Ohio State standout seemed like someone that could fortify their cornerback room.
We could argue whether picking Arnette was the right choice with prospects such as Jeff Gadney and Jaylon Johnson still on the board. Nevertheless, the Raiders chose the former Buckeyes corner and we will have to wait at least a couple years before we can come up with a true assessment of the selection.
How is Arnette faring so far?
In the meantime, we can evaluate Arnette’s performance in the last two weeks and so far, he’s struggled a bit. Although he has one pass defensed and has made seven tackles, he has missed three. Also, he gave up one big play, a 75-yard touchdown, to Robby Anderson in the Raiders’ Week 1 matchup against the Panthers.
Other than the touchdown Arnette gave up against Anderson, his performance has been ok. In fact, Pro Football Focus ranks him ninth out of 17th for rookie corners, or somewhere around the middle of the pack. Arnette knows that he can’t afford to allow big plays like the one in Week 1. In his latest press conference, he talked about the importance of staying focused.
“That’s why you have to stay focused, and stay in tuned in each play because that one slip-up or that one play could be the ball game.”
Arnette is right. The Raiders were able to overcome Anderson’s touchdown and eventually win the game. However, that kind of mistake could be costly in future contests. For the moment, Arnette can’t do much other than prepare for those future games and make sure, he doesn’t give up big plays.
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*Top Photo: Las Vegas Raiders official YouTube Channel