Las Vegas Raiders: Cornerback Damon Arnette crucial in Year 2
By Brad Weiss
The Las Vegas Raiders need 2020 first-round pick Damon Arnette to step up and play a huge role in Year 2 during the 2021 NFL season.
The Las Vegas Raiders made Damon Arnette their second of two first-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, selecting the defensive back out of Ohio State. Seen as a stretch at the time, Arnette struggled throughout his rookie season, as he was riddled with injuries and inconsistent play.
As he enters Year 2, it is a crucial one for both his career and the fortunes of this Raiders franchise. Mike Mayock has had five first-round picks through the first two years as general manager, and he needs to start getting more a return on his investments.
Josh Jacobs has been a great addition, and Clelin Ferrell improved last season, but the other three selections have yet to show they can be a key piece at the next level. Both Henry Ruggs and Arnette were both rookies last season, so they will get a chance to show they belong in 2021, and both need to take advantage of that opportunity.
Raiders must continue to address the cornerback position
The Raiders still have work to do on the defensive side of the ball, and cornerback is a position they could once again target in the first round. Looking around at recent mock drafts, the Silver and Black are predicted to go linebacker, offensive line, or secondary, and the cornerback room is certainly a need heading into the draft later this month.
This offseason, the Raiders have done a nice job adding talent along the defensive line, and they return a solid trio at linebacker in Nicholas Morrow, Cory Littleton, and Nick Kwiatkoski. In addition, they have a new defensive coordinator in Gus Bradley, so the hope is that he can finally get this group turned around.
Bradley is known for working wonders with the secondary, so maybe Arnette is in a perfect place to show why he was drafted in the first round. In order for the Raiders to take the next step forward, he is going to have to prove he belongs and can be counted on within this defense.