The Las Vegas Raiders haven’t lost faith in last year’s first-round pick but perhaps, a move to the inside would be best.
Arnette was not able to have the desired effect that a first-round selection should have on his team. It was, by no means, all on the shoulders of the former Ohio State Buckeye. Whether it was his health, concussions, or sheer bad luck, 2020 just wasn’t his year. Working against Arnette was bad coaching, in addition to the aforementioned reasons. At least the latter won’t be an issue this upcoming season with Gus Bradley now on board as defensive coordinator. However, Bradley wasn’t the only addition as veteran Pro Bowl cornerback, Casey Hayward, signed with the team. Could the veteran end up pushing Arnette to the inside?
What should the Raiders do?
Even if you don’t care for Pro Football Focus analytics, the fact is, they don’t project anything good for Arnette. His coverage grade was 37.5 overall in his rookie year which is, alarming. He also surrendered a 78.1 completion percentage based on 32 times he was targeted. Clearly, there’s much work to be done this offseason. On the other hand, bringing in Hayward appears to be a sort of insurance policy given his resume.
However, the same argument could be had for the last offseason when Prince Amukamara was signed by the Raiders. To the surprise of some, the team parted ways, opting to go with youth before the season commenced. It’s far too early to presume that Arnette will win out the starting job as an outside cornerback. Nevertheless, having the veteran push the second-year man could be very beneficial. Regardless of the outcome, it appears that Hayward is a true team player, stating recently he’ll do whatever the Raiders ask of him. If they need him to move to the slot, allowing Arnette to grow further on the outside, he’ll do it.
As training camp gets going this summer, all eyes will surely be on the battle for the outside cornerback gig.
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Isaac Brekken