Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock held a conference call on Tuesday, and among the talking points was the cornerback position.
On Tuesday, Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock met with members of the media in a conference call to address several topics such as free agent acquisitions, the draft, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has and will continue to effect their offseason preparation. One of the topics of conversation was the status of the cornerback position heading into next week’s draft.
It’s no secret that the Raiders made a very strong offer for Byron Jones, who opted to sign with the Dolphins. When plan A fell through, their attention was shifted to Chris Harris Jr, who also spurned the Raiders offer.
There were rumors that they were in the mix to trade for Darius Slay as well, but when all of those options failed, they settled on Eli Apple. In another turn of events, that deal fell through as well, leaving the Raiders right back where they started at the cornerback position.
Despite several additions on defense, the Raiders were unable to sign a cornerback in free agency, and Mike Mayock was asked about the state of the position heading into the draft.
“Well, where we are today is we feel like we have a bunch of talented young kids that we don’t know enough about yet,” said Mayock when asked about the teams plans at cornerback.
"“Trayvon (Mullen) played really well the second half of the season, we believe that he will be a starter for years to come. Isaiah Johnson was a fourth round pick, former wide receiver with all kinds of physical skill set, we love his traits. He got hurt early, we brought him back late, he’s a guy we can’t wait to see play. Keisean Nixon was a free agent out of South Carolina that made the team and played well on special teams, he’s a really competitive young man, and Dylan Maybin is another kid out of Fordham who got hurt and didn’t get a chance to show what he could do.”"
It’s good to have options but the uncertainty of those options is worrisome. Which raises the question that has been asked several times recently, will the Raiders draft a cornerback, and if so when is a good time to do it?
The Raiders hold two picks in round one, the 12th and 19th overall, and there are a few guys they could grab with one of those picks next week. While Mayock believes the Raiders have four or five intriguing options at corner currently on the roster, he admits they need to get better at the position.
"“We’ve got four to five young corners who we’re kind of intrigued by,” Mayock continued. “Now do we think we need to get better there, yeah. But you always have to be careful to see how the board falls. I think the biggest mistake people make is trying to reach for need.”"
This of course could all be smokescreens and bluffs, but it’s not a guarantee that a corner is selected in round one. Whether or not the Raiders choose a cornerback with one of their first round picks is yet to be seen but it sounds like a very good possibility that Mayock walks away with at least one before it’s all said and done.