Las Vegas Raiders: Answering some defensive questions in 2021
Interceptions and Pass Breakups
This year, the Raiders are looking to capitalize on the defensive additions in the offseason to help with the awful defense from last year. However, the interception leader for the Raiders this year will be a holdover in Trayvon Mullen.
Mullen was far and away the best cover corner on the Raiders last year, as he spent most of the season covering the opposing team’s No. 1 receiver while having some ups and downs. Mullen finished the season with 11 pass breakups and two interceptions while earning a coverage grade of around 60 from Pro Football Focus.
However, this doesn’t paint the full picture.
Unlike dominant cornerbacks, Mullen received no help from safeties, and throughout most of the season, the defense was poorly coached and wasn’t in positions to make plays like he would be if they had a better play-caller. Paul Guenther was far from the best coach, and some supposed he only lasted so long because he was close to head coach Jon Gruden.
After Guenther was fired before the end of the season, and the Raiders shifted their defensive scheme. Over the course of the remaining weeks, Mullen would go on to have good games against Miami and Indianapolis.
This year, with a full offseason under cornerback whisperer Gus Bradley, one can believe Mullen will have his best season so far. It’s not too far-fetched to believe Mullen will have five interceptions,15 pass breakups, and around 60 tackles, all increases from his 2020 stats.