The Las Vegas Raiders added to their cornerback group this offseason, and the new faces will be key if the team is to take a step forward in 2020.
Last season, the then-Oakland Raiders struggled mightily at the cornerback position, although they did see some light at the end of the tunnel in rookie Trayvon Mullen. Down the stretch, Mullen looked the part of a true CB1 at the NFL level, but behind him, the Raiders lacked both talent, and depth.
This offseason, the Raiders made wholesale changes at the position group, saying goodbye to guys like Daryl Worley and Nick Nelson, and replacing them with a veteran in Prince Amukamara, and a first round draft choice in Ohio State’s Damon Arnette.
In addition, the Raiders are hoping that Lamarcus Joyner can bounce back from a terrible first season with the team, as he struggled to live up to his lofty contract. Amik Robertson was drafted by the team in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and before all is said and done, he could replace Joyner and force the veteran to move back to safety.
Isaiah Johnson was a fourth round pick of the team back in 2019, and while he battled injuries as a rookie, he is expected to make a strong push at legitimate playing time this season. Keisean Nixon is another young cornerback that will be looking to make the roster out of camp, and of course, Nevin Lawson returns for his second season in the Silver and Black.
The Raiders have improved the overall talent at cornerback
The Raiders have improved over last season in terms of the talent they have at the position group, but there are plenty of questions still remaining. Arnette was a bit of a shock when the team selected him in the first round, and Amukamara has never really been able to play consistent football throughout his NFL career.
Mullen was outstanding in a short sample size last season, and the hope is that he can be the kind of CB1 that this team has been lacking. Guys like Nixon and Johnson are going to have to prove their worth in a crowded room, and in terms of whether or not the team did enough at the position this offseason, we won’t know that until the games are played.
If Arnette is the real deal, and Amukamara can be the steady veteran presence this team needs, then the Raiders could be in good shape at cornerback. The new faces are going to have to step up if the Raiders are going to do anything against a tough slate of quarterbacks in 2020, and if they do, ten wins is not out of the question.