Las Vegas Raiders Crystal Ball: Trayvon Mullen in Year 2
By Brad Weiss
The Las Vegas Raiders found a good one in the second round in cornerback Trayvon Mullen, and he will be even better in Year 2.
The Las Vegas Raiders held a single second round pick after picking three times in the first round last year, and with that selection, they added their second Clemson Tiger. Trayvon Mullen would be the second of three Clemson players the Raiders would select on draft day, and once inserted into the starting lineup, he became a key player in the team’s defensive backfield.
An honorable mention All-ACC performer at Clemson, Mullen appeared in all 16 games for the Raiders as a rookie, though he made only ten starts. His first start came in Week 7 against Houston after the team traded away Gareon Conley, and finished with ten passes defended, and one interception.
Outside of the numbers, Mullen was the kind of lockdown corner this team has been lacking for quite some time, and played well despite the fact there was not much talent around him. Sure, Daryl Worley is a nice player, but Lamarcus Joyner had a tough first season with the Raiders, and the young guys on the roster just are not there yet.
Moving into 2020, Mullen is going to be one of the team’s starting cornerbacks, but it will be interested to see who they put around him. They will likely take a swing at Worley, as they like him, but with so many solid free agent cornerbacks available, you have to believe this organization is going to spend some of their money on that position group.
In fact, I think it would be wise for the Raiders to spend most of their open cap money on the defensive side of the ball, as it was one of the worst in football last season.
Mullen is going to round into one of the better cornerbacks in the AFC West, which is great news for a team that has to go up against Patrick Mahomes twice a season. The first year in Sin City is going to be an exciting time, but if the defense is not better than it was a year ago, it is going to be very hard for the Raiders to lock down a playoff spot.
Las Vegas is going to put some solid players around Mullen in 2020, which should help him even more as he navigates his second season in the league. We saw glimpses of a him being a possible CB1 during his rookie season, and as he continues to mature, and grow at the NFL level, I believe the sky is the limit.