Trayvon Mullen is an unquestioned starter for the Las Vegas Raiders after a solid rookie season, can the cornerback take that next step from good to elite?
The Las Vegas Raiders have been looking for a shutdown cornerback since Nnamdi Asomugha made his move to the Philadelphia Eagles after an All-Pro season in 2010. Trayvon Mullen may not be quite on Asomugha’s level just yet, but over the course of his rookie season he gradually improved, and established himself as the best cornerback on the Raiders roster.
Mullen was not expected to start coming in to the season after being selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and the Raiders brought him along slowl,y but injuries forced him in to the starting role in Week 7 and he didn’t look back. Mullen played more than 75% of the Raiders’ snaps on defense from Week 7 onward and even played 100% of the team’s snaps in three games.
In his fourth game as a starter, Mullen recorded his first career interception against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11. It was a pivotal moment as it sealed the game for the Raiders and improved their record to 6-4.
Unfortunately it would be the only interception of Mullen’s rookie season but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about his play moving forward.
Coming in to the 2020 season, Mullen’s name is written in Sharpie at the top of the depth chart, and the only question the Raiders have at cornerback is who will start opposite him. Mullen has the physical ability and tools to be special, but the question is will he be able to make that leap in year two.
The best of the best at cornerback force turnovers and we take a look at whether or not Mullen can join that elite company by recording six or more interceptions in his first full season as a starter.