The cornerback position has become quite a conundrum for Las Vegas Raiders fans. Thankfully, anything can happen with training camp getting underway in a few days.
Head coach Josh McDaniels has said in the past that he feels good about several positions, cornerbacks included. More importantly, competition is what will be fueling the new roster, with several players having an opportunity for playing time. With that being said, how’s the cornerback’s room looking going into camp?
Are the Las Vegas Raiders set at cornerback?
Rock Ya-Sin of the Indianapolis Colts and Anthony Averett of the Baltimore Ravens are two good additions they got from other teams.
Last year, the primary cornerbacks were Nate Hobbs and Casey Hayward. Despite being his rookie season, Hobbs grew into a starter. According to Pro Football Focus, Hobbs finished by only allowing one receiving touchdown in the 2021 season. Hayward left the Raiders during free agency, signing with the Atlanta Falcons this offseason. Even though the Raiders were unlikely to bring him back after moving on from Gus Bradley.
Averett is a promising prospect who doesn’t have a huge rÃ©sumÃ© as a starter. In his first two seasons (2018-2020) with the Ravens, he started seven games. However, Averett did start a career-high of 14 games in 2021. PFF mentions that he finished with three interceptions and a 55.4 passing completion rate on combined targets. Ya-Sin could be an obvious choice for a starting cornerback. He was targeted 45 times and allowed 24 completions and has been consistently reliable.
Nate Hobbs needs to take his game to another level
But Hobbs will be counted on to make another jump and solidify himself as a starter this upcoming season. This is also going to be a new system for Hobbs. Training camp will show how he has adjusted to the new defense with Patrick Graham at the helm.
A big name the Raiders and fans will be waiting for is Trayvon Mullen. Mullen has not been able to stay on the field. Earlier this offseason, he posted a picture of himself heading into surgery, and everyone is banking that he’ll be 100 percent by the season’s start. He only played five games last season due to his toe injury.
The cornerbacks fighting for a spot will be the most intriguing defensive battle to watch. No set starter is a major opportunity for any player willing to work for it.
*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal