The Las Vegas Raiders bolstered the cornerback room for the 2022 NFL season, begging the question of whether Trayvon Mullen will even start this season.
Going into the 2022 NFL season, the Las Vegas Raiders still have their question marks, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Last year, Las Vegas was able to navigate a roller-coaster of a season, winning their last four games and punching their ticket to the playoffs for only the second time since the 2002 campaign.
While they lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card round, a team that eventually made it to the Super Bowl, it still set the stage for what should be an exciting 2022 season. New GM David Ziegler did a tremendous job bolstering the roster on both sides of the ball, including on defense, where he made it a point to bring in more talent in the secondary.
By adding players like Anthony Averett and Rock Ya-Sin at cornerback, Las Vegas has more starting-caliber talent at the position than they have in quite some time, which could lead to a demotion for Trayvon Mullen. Once expected to be the franchise’s CB1, Mullen battled injuries last season and has yet to prove he can be a reliable piece throughout an entire season.
Averett started 14 games for the Baltimore Ravens last season and is only 27-years old, so expect him to push Mullen in a big way this summer. If he impresses the coaching staff, Mullen could be relegated to a depth role, showing how good the talent is at cornerback.
Raiders need to be elite in the secondary
Las Vegas plays in the AFC West, which is home to four elite quarterbacks in Denver’s Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers, and their own, Derek Carr. That means the Silver and Black secondary will face potential Hall of Fame quarterbacks in all six of their divisional games, putting an emphasis on being better in the secondary.
The Raiders already bolstered their pass rush this offseason, adding former All-Pro outside linebacker Chandler Jones, and teaming him with Maxx Crosby makes that tandem elite. They are going to get pressure, which means the secondary has to step up and make plays when the ball is in the air.
The AFC West will arguably be the toughest division in football next season. So, who's the team to beat? Is it the Las Vegas Raiders?
The best-case scenario is Averett comes in and is a depth guy, with the younger Mullen stepping up and regaining his title as CB1. Whatever the case may be, the Raiders have proven players in safety Tre’Von Moehrig, and cornerbacks Ya-Sin and Nate Hobbs, so finding the right pieces around them is paramount this summer.