The Las Vegas Raiders have a special cornerback in Trayvon Mullen, who continues to prove he is a legitimate CB1 at the NFL level.
When the then-Oakland Raiders selected Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, there were a lot of expectations placed on him immediately. The cornerback position had long been an issue for the franchise, and they had not drafted a real shutdown guy since Nnamdi Asomugha in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
Since that time, the Raiders had tried to piece together their secondary with either reaches in the early round of NFL Drafts or free agents who just did not have it anymore. Since bringing in Mullen, it looks like the franchise finally got it right, as he has not only become a starter for the Silver and Black but a dominant cornerback on the outside.
In his rookie season, Mullen was still getting adjusted to the pro game, and it took a bit for him to actually get into a starting role. However, he showed down the stretch that he could cover anybody, while also showing the kind of ball-hawking skills this secondary has been missing for quite some time.
Improvements in 2020
This year, he has become the unquestioned leader of the cornerback group, and he and fellow 2019 draft pick Johnathan Abram has helped improve the Raiders’ secondary. There is still a lot left to do in terms of bringing in talent around those two guys, but for the first time in a long time, the Raiders have that cornerback that they can match up against any team’s true WR1 on any given Sunday.
Mullen played a key role in the team’s win against the New York Jets on Sunday, hauling in one of the more impressive interceptions we have seen in a long time. With one arm, Mullen was able to not only cover Breshad Perriman but haul in his second interception of the season, showing not only strength but soft hands.
With all of the injuries within the Raiders secondary this season, Mullen has been a constant in the lineup and even shook off an illness to make himself available for the Jets game this past weekend. That proved to be huge, as the game went down to the wire, and with the win, the Raiders likely saved their 2020 season.