The depth at cornerback for the Las Vegas Raiders will be tested here in the early going and it won’t be easy against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Starting a rookie and a second-year player at cornerback is evidence that Raiders brass opted for a youth movement. We only have to look at the team parting ways with Prince Amukamara before the season began as further proof. Anyhow, now that the position is battling injuries, it means players like Keisean Nixon will get playing time.
Maurice Moton of Silver and Black Today recently Tweeted that while Nevin Lawson will start, a player like Isaiah Johnson could get a shot to play. We can add Nixon to that shortlist considering how the depth chart currently looks like.
I wonder if Isaiah Johnson gets another shot to play with Arnette recovering from surgery.
At this point, we know who Lawson is. He can start but doesn’t make a lot of impact plays.#Raiders could see what they have in their 2019 4th-rounder who Gruden talked up last year.
— Maurice Moton (@MoeMoton) October 1, 2020
Raiders Only Have a Sample To Go On With Nixon…
Limited action is not always the player’s fault, sometimes there just isn’t enough snaps to go around. For Nixon and the Raiders, there’s only a sample to judge the corner by. In 2019, Nixon played in 14 games for the Raiders where he saw 38 defensive snaps. He’s no stranger to the football field though as he totaled 258 snaps on special teams.
Pro Football Focus graded Nixon at 29.9 for his coverage, this was based on 33 total coverage snaps. By small contrast, this year in four coverage snaps, Nixon graded 49.9. All things considered, it’s plausible the Raiders replace Arnette by committee with Nixon, Johnson, and Lawson. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther will have to make do with what he has, it will be up to him (collective shriek) to maximize this talent.
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*Top Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images