Raiders

State Of The Las Vegas Raiders’ Cornerback Position

The cornerback position, like many in the Las Vegas Raiders’ defense, has been a question mark for most of the 20th century. Today, though, it’s in better shape than it has been in many previous years. With that said, it could be better, and if the Raiders are true contenders, it may need to get better.

The Raiders have some talent at cornerback

Currently, the Raiders do have some talent at this position. The current group consists of Rock Ya-Sin, Trayvon Mullen, Nate Hobbs, Anthony Averett, Amik Robertson, and several other depth players.

This isn’t a weak group by any means, and there is plenty of talent. Ya-Sin, the recently acquired former Colt, had a very strong year in 2021, and figures to be the #1 cornerback on the roster, as of now. Trayvon Mullen is very skilled as well when he’s able to stay healthy. Nate Hobbs had a very strong rookie year.

Averett and Robertson have both had their ups and downs during their careers, but as depth players they do have a lot to offer. Robertson is also still just 23, and with some more experience in the league he could get better. Still, the group lacks a true, notable No. 1 guy, and that’s where the following players come in.

Potential trade targets?

Ultimately, the cornerback trade market is very dry. The notable name on the market was James Bradberry, but after his release he was scooped up by the Philadelphia Eagles, and that wish is off the table. There aren’t many big-name players with rumors surrounding them, especially after the Bradberry news.

One player Las Vegas should consider, though, is Darius Slay. Slay hasn’t been the subject of many trade rumors, so this is just speculation, but it could make sense for both sides. Slay just turned 30, and by trading him, the Eagles can clear up to $9.75 million. He didn’t have a terrific year last year, and after acquiring Bradberry, it became much easier for Philadelphia to potentially let him go.

As for the Raiders’ perspective, although Slay has passed his prime, he is still a good cornerback. His experience would be a massive uplift to the young core the Raiders currently have, and his skills and technique speak for themselves. He would be a talented, experienced veteran at a position that could use more of both of those.

Desmond King is another player the Raiders should pursue. King, like most of the cornerbacks on the market, is past his prime, yet still a solid contributor. King had his best years as a Charger, and admittedly, he did struggle with Houston in 2021. But Desmond is still 27 years old, and it might not be fair to place all of the blame on him given how poor the Texans’ defense was as a whole. With younger players at his position, King is expendable and could be a trade target.

Free Agents

Since the trade market is as dry as Las Vegas in the summer, it’s a good thing there are some viable free agents the Raiders could consider. The first of those is a well-known name, Xavier Rhodes.

Rhodes was once a premier starting cornerback, but those days are in the rearview mirror. Still, it would make sense for Rhodes to join the silver and black, and it wouldn’t break the Raiders’ bank account either. Xavier had a tremendous 2020 campaign, but he dropped off in 2021. If signed, Rhodes wouldn’t start for Las Vegas. Nevertheless, he would provide some important veteran leadership and would be an excellent depth player.

Another player the Raiders could consider is a familiar AFC West foe: Chris Harris Jr. Since they’ve had the misfortune of watching him play very well against the Silver and Black in previous years, Harris is a recognizable name for any Raiders’ fan. Harris is a far cry from his glory days, but he had a solid campaign in 2021 and would bring some much-needed veteran leadership.

Ultimately, the Raiders aren’t in terrible shape here. Between Ya-Sin, Hobbs, and Mullen, the Raiders have a trio of talented young cornerbacks. Averett and Robertson are some solid depth players, so as a complete unit, the Raiders aren’t necessarily in trouble here.

The Raiders’ cornerback position as a whole is much better than in recent years. With that said, Las Vegas does not have a true #1 guy that can be counted on against the top receivers in the league. They also don’t have as much depth as possible. If they want to be a true Super Bowl contender, they have to have one of those options. These four players can all help solve that problem.

[pickup_prop id=”19025″]

*Top Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Join The Ramble Email List

1 thought on “State Of The Las Vegas Raiders’ Cornerback Position”

  1. I’m sure that if McDaniel & Graham feel that any free agent would be a positive addition to the roster & their salary works, they will attempt to make to addition. From my perspective none of the players mentioned are considerably better than the players already on the roster, unless the coaches feel they would add depth.

Let us know your thoughts, Raider Nation!

%d bloggers like this: