Raiders DB Nate Hobbs Continues With Underrated Rookie Campaign

The Las Vegas Raiders came away with an absolute steal when they selected Nate Hobbs in the fifth round of April’s NFL draft. So far, Hobbs has continued to impress Raider Nation in his early career.

Hobbs is arguably the most underrated rookie in the NFL right now. The six-foot-one defensive back out of Illinois has helped bring stability to the Raiders’ secondary. Alongside another rookie, Trevon Moehrig, Hobbs is leading a turnaround for the Raiders’ defense. As a whole, the defense is having quite a year as Hobbs has continued to man the slot.

Before the matchup with the Dallas Cowboys, Hobbs had only allowed 243 yards on 354 coverage snaps, per Pro Football Focus. Whether you care for PFF grades or not, it’s impressive to see Hobbs get recognized. Especially among other rookies such as Micah Parsons and Kwity Paye, both of whom were first-round selections. As we approach the final stretch of games, Hobbs is being included in conversations for Defensive Rookie of the Year alongside the aforementioned players.

Contributions from Hobbs don’t show up in the stat sheet

As far as yesterday’s Thanksgiving game, Hobbs totaled five total tackles, per ESPN. Though Hobbs was sixth in tackles for his team, the rookie’s impact goes beyond the stat sheet. It’s the intangibles, the little things that make Hobbs special such as breaking up huge third down plays. After a brief injury scare, he returned and made his presence known on special teams as well with a big hit.

There’s still a lot of football left to be played, but Hobbs is quickly emerging as a long-term cornerstone for Gus Bradley’s defense. It was a few rough days that culminated in yesterday’s win. But now Hobbs and the rest of the Raiders defense can look to their Washing Football Team game next weekend. Hobbs will be defending Washington’s slot receivers in DeAndre Carter and Adam Humphries.

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*Top Photo: Official Raiders Website

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