Las Vegas Raiders: 2021 Draft class mid-season Report Card
Round 5, Pick 167: Nate Hobbs, CB
What a pick this has turned out to be. The nickel corner out of Illinois has played lights out through eight games and looks to be one of the best picks of the short Gruden/Mayock era.
Nate Hobbs is currently PFF’s 9th highest-graded rookie (78.5), and the #1 graded rookie defensive back, earning a spot on their “Midseason NFL All-Rookie Team” alongside fellow Raider Trevon Moehrig.
In today’s passing league, nickel corners are just as important as outside corners, as they are on the field for over half of the snaps. The difference between the play of former Raiders nickel Lamarcus Joyner and Hobbs has been night and day and has really made an impact upon the improvement of the defensive unit as a whole.
Not only has Hobbs been good at covering receivers in the slot, but he has also excelled in the run game, currently 4th in combined tackles on the team. In addition, he has shown last week that he can be disruptive in the pass rush on blitzes, recording 3 QB hits and a sack against the New York Giants.
I, and probably most, were not expecting much out of this pick, at least this early, so Hobbs has been a pleasant surprise in a season that has been filled with a lot of negativity and controversy.
- Performance Grade: A
- Pick Grade: A