Raiders at Chargers 2022 Week 1: Positive takeaways in defeat
2. Nate Hobbs Is Legit
A fifth-round pick in last year’s draft, Hobbs was a revelation in the preseason. Consistently making plays when called upon, he earned the job as the Raiders’ starting nickel cornerback. When the games started to count, nothing changed as he continued to impress. One of the best rookies in the NFL, a second-year leap would vault him into elite status.
Although it has only been one week, Hobbs appears to have taken that step. Given an 86.0 PFF grade, fifth best among all cornerbacks, he was incredible all game against the Chargers. Perhaps most exciting was his tackling. With a team-leading nine tackles, including one for loss, he is a well-rounded player.
With the news that starting cornerback Anthony Averett will likely miss at least a month, Hobbs may be asked to move to an outside corner spot. Luckily for Las Vegas, he is perfectly capable of doing so. In Sunday’s game, he played 21 snaps as an outside corner after playing just 26 snaps there all of the last season.
With lots of questions and injuries surrounding the Raiders cornerback group, Hobbs becoming elite at the position could be the cure-all that Patrick Graham’s unit so badly needs.