Raiders CB Nate Hobbs graded out as one of the top rookies in class

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It’s really hard to find good defensive backs in today’s NFL. That is especially true for rookies. However, the Raiders were able to find not one, but two high-quality starting defensive backs in the 2021 draft.

Trevon Moehrig started every game at free safety and was among the most efficient defensive backs in the league in terms of coverage. But the real star of the class was Nate Hobbs, who quickly earned the slot job in training camp and never let go.

According to Pro Football Focus, Hobbs was the highest-graded cornerback from the 2021 draft class as a rookie. He finished ahead of Jaycee Horn, Patrick Surtain and Caleb Farley, who were all selected in Round 1. Here is what the site had to say about the fifth-round pick from Illinois:

“Hobbs was quite easily the best slot corner in the rookie class, He showed very few weaknesses this season. After playing outside corner at Illinois, he came to the Raiders and earned a 78.8 run-defense grade and 75.8 coverage grade.”

Hobbs was also a great tackler from the slot, helping his overall grade to rise. He has seemingly gotten better in every single game and is now part of the future of the defense for the Raiders.

He’ll have a tough matchup on Saturday as he will face Tyler Boyd, one of the league’s most physical slot receivers. If he can win that matchup, the Raiders will have a great chance of beating the Bengals in Round 1 of the playoffs.

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