It’s only one preseason game so far but Las Vegas Raiders rookie Nate Hobbs is making the most of it and lighting it up.
After bringing in Gus Bradley to run the Silver and Black’s defense, several changes were made to the unit. Among those changes was the Louisville native who was drafted in the fifth round of this year’s NFL draft. From the outset, Hobbs’ selection was universally praised as the Raiders overhauled their defensive backfield. With Lamarcus Joyner gone, the nickel spot became wide open, though Amik Robertson remained from last year’s squad. As offseason activities took place, there were growing rumblings that Hobbs was indeed impressing.
Both Bradley and fellow teammates were impressed by Hobbs as said activities progressed. The fact is, Bradley’s addition has meant that a simpler but more effective scheme is being implemented. And those reaping the rewards are young and fast players such as Hobbs. Fast forward to yesterday’s preseason opener and we could see ’39’ flying all over the field.
Hobbs is receiving tons of praise after yesterday…
One of the biggest plays from the Seahawks matchup was in the first quarter. Hobbs blasted past Seattle’s pass protection and laid out quarterback Geno Smith for an eight-yard sack. Funny enough, Hobbs admitted following the game that while the sack was nice, he really was going for the ball. Regardless, it was a thing of beauty as a packed Allegiant Stadium roared in excitement. It’s surely a breath of fresh air to see a fast and dynamic defense on display, even if it’s preseason. Hobbs impressed so much in this game, which is preceded by his noteworthy training camp performance, that there’s ‘starter‘ talk already.
Jon Gruden said Nate Hobbs “might be the opening day starter for us” #Raiders
— Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) August 15, 2021
Nate Hobbs has been opening eyes all camp. And based on what @Raiders coach Jon Gruden said tonight, he might be on track for the starting slot CB role
— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) August 15, 2021
All things considered, Hobbs is doing everything he can to earn that starting gig. Under no circumstance should Nevin Lawson be starting and so far, we haven’t heard much regarding Robertson. One thing that fans might already know is that Jon Gruden is known for saying one thing but doing another. He could be singing Hobbs’ praises today but could end up cutting him, albeit highly unlikely. For now, let’s see how Hobbs plays in these remaining preseason games.
*Top Photo: Official Raiders Website