Raiders

Can Raiders CB Damon Arnette Avoid The ‘Bust’ Label?

Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Damon Arnette got off to a rocky start last season and never recovered. Fortunately, 2021 is a clean slate for the sophomore but will he be able to avoid being labeled a bust?

Arnette’s rookie season was underwhelming, to say the least. He’s not a bust by any means, he’s too talented and possesses upside as the number two Raiders cornerback. As far as 2021, we don’t know exactly how new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley plans to use the Ohio State product. Perhaps, he’ll be moved inside to man the slot following Casey Hayward coming aboard. One thing’s for sure, Arnette needs to show why the Raiders drafted him 19th overall last year.

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Raiders can’t afford to have Arnette fail in 2021

Chris Roling of Bleacher Report recently listed Arnette as a sophomore who could avoid the bust label. The problem with Arnette’s selection is where he was ranked prior to him being drafted. For example, NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller had Arnette ranked as his 99th overall player. The scout also drew the comparison between Arnette and the team’s first-round pick this year, Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood. Essentially, both players were overdrafted according to Miller, but, it is what it is.

Roling did highlight Arnette’s lowly Pro Football Focus numbers which paint a disappointing picture. He’s probably referring to the 41.7 overall grade along with a terrible coverage grade of 37.5. Still, in Arnette’s defense, he was hindered by injuries, concussions, and Covid-19, all rational excuses.

We all saw Arnette’s potential during his collegiate career with his physical play such as in plays like the one above. The Raiders have to put Arnette in a better position to succeed this season, hopefully, Bradley will be able to do that. There’s too much at risk for him not to do so, the team needs to hit on their first-round selections.

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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Isaac Brekken

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