Most of the top spots at defensive back appear to be locked down for the Las Vegas Raiders. However, who will take the remaining slots?
Heading into Week 2 of the NFL preseason, many positions have been locked in. Of course, there will still be some questions until the roster is completely set. Some of those questions will lie amongst the defensive backs for the Raiders.
Who will take the 6th cornerback spot?
Most of the cornerbacks’ room looks to be set with Trayvon Mullen, Casey Hayward, Damon Arnette, Nate Hobbs, and Amik Robertson. The remaining spot looks to be a battle between Isaiah Johnson, Keisean Nixon, and Nevin Lawson. The competition might just be between Nixon and Johnson since Lawson won’t take up a roster spot for the first two weeks due to his suspension.
The Raiders have had some trust in Lawson since he’s gotten a fair share of playing time despite questionable play. It should honestly be time that they let him go. Nixon hasn’t proven himself much either but is still young so there’s hope. Johnson seems like the best bet since he’s had some decent play before. He proved to be clutch at the end of the Week 9 matchup against the Chargers with back-to-back pass deflections to seal the win. He’s still a bit shaky but we can at least look back at that which gives him an edge.
Is the safety room already locked?
This isn’t as much of a legitimate question but something that is still worth talking about. With Tre’von Moehrig and Johnathan Abram looking pretty good in camp, there should be no question that they will be the starters in Week 1. Tyree Gillespie hasn’t had much time to prove himself after dealing with a soft tissue injury. Nevertheless, the team is still high on him so there isn’t much to worry about with the rookie. That leaves the fourth and final spot to Karl Joseph. Despite Dallin Leavitt being an asset on special teams, it looks like his time is up with the Raiders as he hasn’t done much else. Leavitt didn’t help his case against the Seahawks last week as he missed a tackle during Seattle’s only scoring play.
We will know more after the remaining preseason games but this is where the defensive backs stand as of now.
*Top Photo: Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports