Despite starting 2022 with off-the-field issues, Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs is off to a promising start in his NFL career. The question is, does he have a future playing outside for the Silver and Black?
Hobbs saw some action against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, and while it was limited, he made the most of it. Earlier in the offseason, Hobbs made it a point to let everyone know that he’ll always have a chip on his shoulder; more so because he feels that he’s been overlooked his entire life. It’s a fair sentiment. Especially when you take into account that he was a fifth-round pick, meaning the entire league passed on him. After emerging as the Raiders’ starting nickel in 2021, some wondered if he could contribute outside of that role. Well, in the Hall of Fame Game, Hobbs showed there’s a possibility.
Nate Hobbs impressed during the Raiders’ preseason opener
When speaking to the media recently, head coach Josh McDaniels was questioned about Hobbs’ performance and how it related to playing outside corner moving forward.
“Nate’s done a good job all spring [and] all summer of really competing; he’s a very competitive guy. He’s worked at multiple spots. We worked him outside last night, and DP [Darius Phillips] was inside when he was there. We’re just really trying to give every guy an opportunity to compete in some of those different roles that they’re practicing. And they didn’t really give up much production last night. I thought he played his job the right way.”
Whether Hobbs sees more action on the outside will depend on the health of the other Raiders cornerbacks. Technically speaking, Rock Ya-Sin and Anthony Averett are the starters right now. The team’s hoping Trayvon Mullen will take one of those starting positions eventually. Hobbs will most likely pick up where he left off last season. Getting the opportunity to compete right now and show he can hold his own bodes well for the 23-year-old. On a team that has been putting a lot of emphasis on being versatile, Hobbs will get a chance to play outside at some point.
*Top Photo: CBS WLKY