4 questions for the Las Vegas Raiders defense entering 2020
By Evan Groat
Four Questions: How soon can the young secondary develop?
One of the keys to the Raiders’ success on defense in 2020 rests on how quickly the young secondary can mature.
Talk about a youth movement, as the secondary includes Trayvon Mullen, Isaiah Johnson, Keisean Nixon, Johnathan Abram, and rookies Amik Robertson and Damon Arnette. Between that group of names is a combined 11 starts, ten of which were made by Mullen as a rookie last season.
Mullen and Abrams are penciled in as starters, and it’s possible at least one other player from that list is starting Week 1. Wisely, the Raiders brought in veteran cornerback Prince Amukamara, as well as safety Damarious Randall, whose experience will be invaluable if the young guys should struggle to acclimate early in the year.
In a perfect world, coaches would love to see Damon Arnette win the corner job opposite of Trayvon Mullen out of camp to go along with Lamarcus Joyner as the slot corner, with Abram and Randall on the back end. Sure, Abram and Mullen are no longer rookies, but I would not consider them grizzled vets by any stretch of the imagination.
Expect some growing pains along the way for this young but talented group. The defense could take a big step forward should the youngsters grow up fast, and they will be thrown into the fire early, facing Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, and Drew Brees in the first half of the season.