What condition the position is in: Assessing Raiders need at cornerback

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Levi Damien
·2 min read
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With free agency a month away, it’s time to check in on the Raiders’ cornerback position to give it a condition of either Strong, Stable, Unstable, Serious, or Critical.

Starters: Trayvon Mullen, Damon Arnette, Lamarcus Joyner
Backups: Keisean Nixon, Isaiah Johnson, Amik Robertson, Kemah Siverand
Free agents: Nevin Lawson, Daryl Worley

Mullen was easily the Raiders’ best defensive back last season. So easily, in fact, that after him there is a significant dropoff. His 14 pass breakups were more than twice that of any other defensive back on the team. And his two interceptions were tied for the team lead.

Arnette was the team’s pick at 19 overall in the 2020 draft. He was handed the starting job out of training camp, with the team releasing Prince Amukamara altogether. It was a rough rookie season for Arnette to say the least.

He was recovering from a broken thumb in the opener and then injured his wrist in week three, knocking him out for seven weeks. Then a few weeks later he tested positive for COVID-19 costing him another couple of games. And he was regularly burnt in the games he did appear.

Joyner again started at the nickel corner spot. The best you can say for him is he wasn’t as bad as he was the previous season.

Lawson was the team’s dime back and next man up when a starter went out. And with Arnette missing as much time as he did, Lawson ended up starting nine games, with less than stellar play.

Keisean Nixon and Isaiah Johnson each had their moments but have not yet proven they are capable of full-time jobs. Rookie fourth-round pick Amik Robertson was drafted to be depth in the slot and then was inactive half the season and barely saw the field the other half.

Condition: Unstable

With Mullen playing well and Arnette being a first-round pick, both are slated to start. Joyner’s contract is steep, making him a strong candidate to be released. Should they indeed cut Joyner, they would be looking at adding a nickel corner as well as adding some competition for Arnette and depth. That means the team could add a couple of corners this offseason, at least one of which being a proven capable starter.

Also, see conditions of:

Quarterback

Running back

Wide receiver

Tight end

Offensive tackle

Guard

Center

Defensive tackle

Defensive end

Linebacker