Most analysts have pegged wide receiver to be the Las Vegas Raiders‘ biggest need in the 2020 NFL Draft, but the need for another cornerback is almost as big. There are only two cornerbacks worth taking with the team’s first first-round pick. There will be a steep drop off after C.J. Henderson and Jeff Okudah are both selected. An argument could be made for the Raiders to take Henderson if he’s available at 12, but a wide receiver still seems likely.
Regardless of what Las Vegas does with their first-round picks, they should look to add depth at cornerback later in the draft. An intriguing prospect to keep an eye on is Amik Robertson out of Louisiana Tech. According to draft analyst Just Morel, the Raiders are among the teams who have met with the promising cornerback.
Analysis of Robertson
If you were to just look at Robertson, he doesn’t fit the profile of the type of cornerback the Raiders typically like to target. The team likes tall and long cornerbacks and he’s only 5’8. That said, he’s an intense player and Jon Gruden loves players who love to play football. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein talked about Robertson’s intensity in his analysis:
“Smallish, outside corner with tremendous intensity, swagger and toughness. Needs to handle the athletic challenges as a slot corner in the NFL. He gives rough rides to receivers trying to get away from his press before following it with route recognition and footwork to continue hounding his man. Physicality overtakes technique at times and he could struggle to mirror the release of savvy NFL slot receivers. The instincts and ball skills are rare and should translate to this level of competition in zone and man as long as he can shadow routes. Teams may worry about his size, but run support will not be a concern and Robertson could become a starting nickel as a Day 3 selection.”
If the plan is to play him at slot corner, he could be an interesting pickup for the Raiders. Right now, they have LaMarcus Joyner filling that role, but he struggled quite a bit last season. Adding a young backup with upside would be wise in case Joyner continues to disappoint. Zierlein predicts Robertson to be available in the fourth round and the Raiders could give him a serious look when their pick is up.
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Robertson Says He’s a Playmaker
Louisiana Tech is not one of the more prominent football programs in the country, but Robertson was among their best players. He was named First-Team All-American Football Writers Association of America, which is no small feat. He recently had a chance to talk about what makes him a good football player.
“I always wanna be around the football,” Robertson told Justin Morel SB Nation. “I’m a highly instinctive player. I’m also a very hard worker. When you put all of those things together, you end up with a playmaker. That’s just who I am.
“I play the game with a ton of passion. You can’t match my work ethic. It just all comes together when I hit that field. That’s how I separate myself. I work harder than anybody else. … I know I can play at the next level. I just need a chance.”