Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Trayvon Mullen is playing at a high level in his sophomore campaign. He was recently ranked as a top ten NFL corner.
Mullen seized the starting corner gig last year as a rookie with the Silver and Black. Since then, he’s been on a roll, so much so that Pro Football Focus believes he is in the upper echelon at his position. Here in the early going, Mullen already has four passes defensed and one tackle for a loss through three games. In those games, opposing quarterbacks have targeted Mullen ten times and he’s given up five completions. His completion percentage on those targets right now is literally an impressive 50%.
Raiders Have Their Lockdown Corner
Anthony Treash of PFF was looking exclusively at coverage for his rankings, which is good for Mullen. The reason for this is that Mullen’s grade for run defense is bad, currently grading at 27.2 for 2020.
“…we are looking solely at coverage performance here. And he has been a standout player in that facet thus far — particularly in press-man coverage, where his length and physicality come in handy. On such snaps, Mullen has recorded a 90.8 coverage grade, which leads all cornerbacks. For perspective, the next best sits at 86.9, and then there is only one other corner to produce a grade above 80.0.”
Mullen’s development and evolution into a possible premier corner has been a blessing for the Raiders. Unfortunately, the other half of the Raiders defensive backfield is not quite there yet. Rookie Damon Arnette has gone down with an injury and veteran Nevin Lawson will likely get the start against the Buffalo Bills in Week 4. Besides Lawson, the team will now have to rely on corners that haven’t see much, if any, action in 2020. This means Mullen’s impressive sophomore campaign will have to continue for the Raiders defense to have any chance on Sunday.
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*Top Photo: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports