Being that the Oakland Raiders had three first round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, it’s easy to forget that the team also had a pick early in the second round. With the eighth pick in the second round, the Raiders selected Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen. Mullen didn’t give up a single touchdown while in college and was the defensive MVP for Clemson’s most recent championship run. Mullen doesn’t seem content with just being a solid college player, however.
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Raiders Rookie Trayvon Mullen Holds Own Against Antonio Brown
There’s not a lot going on for NFL players in between minicamps and training camp, so it’s up to the players if they want to workout during the downtime. Notorious workout freak, Antonio Brown, doesn’t seem like he’s taken a single day off this entire offseason. He was recently seen working out with a Hawai high school football team while vacationing on the island. Now Brown is back on the mainland and he’s been spotted working out with his new teammate and fellow Floridian, Trayvon Mullen.
What’s most impressive is that Mullen seems to hold his own against what many consider to be the best wide receiver in the game. The Raiders should be happy that Mullen is out there practicing with Brown because there’s probably no better player he can learn from. The Raiders seem to be pretty set in the defensive backfield at cornerback with Gareon Conley, Daryl Worley and LaMarcus Joyner. Mullen will have to impress if he’s going to get a lot of regular season reps. The Raiders secondary has struggled greatly over the last few years. Mullen can help give them the depth that they’ve been sorely lacking.
Mullen is talented, but there’s a reason he wasn’t selected in the first round of the draft. Here’s what NFL.com had to say about him before the draft:
Long press-corner who can clog up the release but is more reactive than instinctive in coverage. Mullen can be a little inconsistent in anticipating route breaks, which can open small throwing windows, but his loose hips and response burst helps him latch back onto tight coverage. If Mullen can improve pattern recognition and reading the quarterback, the ball production should follow. He has Day 2 draft talent as an outside corner and could compete for a CB2 spot within a couple of years.
The Raiders have a new look defense and should improve in 2019. The defensive backfield is young and should continue to get better as time goes on. Mullen may not start opposite Conley to begin the 2019 season. However, a big corner like Mullen may finally be able to solve the Raiders’ problem of covering opposing tight ends.