With the 167th poll in the fifth round of the NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders picked Illinois cornerback Nate Hobbs.
Given the inconsistency on the defensive field and attacking a weakness with the line of defense in the free hand, it comes as no surprise to the Las Vegas Raiders to get aggressive when it comes to upgrading their secondary position in the draft.
Day 2 already consisted of security Trevon Moehrig and security / linebacker Divine Deablo.
The Raiders also focused on their defensive backcourt on Day 3, picking up slot cornerback Nate Hobbs from the University of Illinois. Hobbs played both in and out of the corner in his Illinois career, but plans to be a slot corner on the next level.
Have the raiders found their slot corner of the future?
When rookie cornerbacks Damon Arnette and Amik Robertson were thrown into the fire last season, they struggled for a variety of reasons. Arnette seemed to be the real deal at the training camp, which led the Raiders to release Prince Amukamara and start Arnette on the other side of Trayvon Mullen.
However, Arnette struggled with injuries and inconsistent play, and the jury still doesn’t have him.
Robertson started out as a backup and when pushed into playtime on the slots corner he just didn’t seem ready and sometimes lost on the field. Have the Raiders finally fixed their more obvious weaknesses on the slot corner?
Nate Hobbs is not expected to be a starter in the slots corner in the next or even next season, but he will add great depth to the position.
Hobb’s game declined from the 2019 to 2020 season as he only started five games last season and was missing three due to injury. A total of 31 tackles and an interception led to a game-winning field goal against Rutgers. He also had an interception in 2019 but had 67 tackles and nine pass breakups.
But his overall career stats are pretty impressive over the course of his career, with a total of 168 tackles, including 110 solo tackles with 12.5 tackles for one loss, three interceptions and 14 passes defended.
While Hobbs might turn out to be a tough, solid slot corner for the Las Vegas Raiders, satisfying an urgent need on the slot corner and only on defense in general, there were more talented overall by the point they were drafted Player.
My pick for this selection would have been Alabama security guard Deonte Brown, who went to the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round. At this point in the design, and in the way the roster is built, the Raiders seem to strive for both depth and athleticism in these later rounds of the design, which should benefit them in the long run.
Especially if defender coach Ron Milus can work his magic and bring out the 2019 version of Hobbs, he could be a part of the defense sooner rather than later.