Raiders CB Nate Hobbs ninth-highest graded rookie through Week 9

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Earlier this week, the Las Vegas Raiders released former first-round pick cornerback Darmon Arnette. The second-year cornerback just never made an impact on the field for the Raiders and his off-the-field issues were the reason the team decided to move on.

Usually, missing on a top-20 pick like that would really set the franchise back. But that hasn’t been an issue, at all. And the reason why is due to the play of rookie cornerback Nate Hobbs.

The fifth-round pick from Illinois has been incredible this season, as Pro Football Focus has ranked him as the ninth-best rookie in the NFL after Week 9. Here is what the site had to say about his play so far:

“The Raiders added a little wrinkle to Hobbs’ usage against the Giants over the weekend, utilizing him as a blitzer. He racked up a sack, two hits and a hurry on four pass-rushing snaps Sunday while only allowing nine yards in coverage. He already looks like one of the best slot corners in the league.”

Not only has Hobbs been the best rookie defensive back in the league this season, but he has also been one of the NFL’s top corners. He is excelling in the slot and his teammate in Casey Hayward Jr. has complemented him well on the outside.

The Raiders have been able to overcome the Arnette pick because of the selection of Hobbs and the free-agent signing of Hayward. They’ll both be tested this week as the Raiders will host the Chiefs in a huge AFC West battle on Sunday Night Football.

Look for Hobbs to continue to shine and play well for the Raiders in that game, like he has done all season. He has been a home-run pick so far for Las Vegas.

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