After another subpar year of defending against the pass, the Las Vegas Raiders decided it was time to revamp their secondary. They traded Gareon Conley during the 2019 season and they’ve now officially let Daryl Worley walk. The team’s starting cornerback for the last two seasons announced that he’s heading to Dallas to play for the Cowboys.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the deal is for one year.
Worley wasn’t the biggest problem for the Raiders pass defense, but he also wasn’t a difference-maker. He was among the league’s best in stopping contested catches, per Pro Football Focus. While he’s a solid player, the Raiders clearly were looking for a fresh start.
The Cowboys lost star cornerback Byron Jones in free agency and had yet to find a capable replacement. They were able to land Trevon Diggs in the draft, who was considered one of the better cornerbacks in the class. Worley will be a capable starter for a year, but he shouldn’t be expected to be the team’s number one cornerback.
Who Will Be Raiders Starting CBs in 2020?
With Worley heading to Dallas, the Raiders will need to replace him as a starter. 2019 second-round pick Trayvon Mullen will almost certainly be one of the starters, but the second spot is up for grabs. If the team had a full offseason ahead of them, 2020 first-round pick Damon Arnette would probably be the favorite to land the spot opposite Mullen.
However, due to COVID-19, Arnette won’t be able to get as many practice reps in, which could hurt his shot at developing enough in time for the season. That would leave Nevin Lawson as the favorite to start the season. He was solid towards the end of last year and was rewarded with a contract extension in the offseason. He’s not a game-changer, but he’s a steady, veteran presence. Lawson would be a safe choice for the Raiders to start the season as they ease Arnette in eventually.
Follow the Heavy on Las Vegas Raiders Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
PFF Did Not Like the Arnette Selection
The Raiders went into the 2020 draft with a huge need at cornerback. There wasn’t anybody good enough available at number 12, but the team did decide to target Arnette with the 19th pick. The cornerback had a lot of experience and came from a good program in Ohio State, but many were not fans of the pick. Pro Football Focus said it was their least favorite pick the team made:
“Arnette never graded out better than slightly above average at Ohio State and doesn’t fit the physical profile of a first-round corner. I don’t see why they had to stick at 19 if they wanted him so badly.”
Arnette was widely projected to go in the second or third round. However, the Raiders were big fans of him and didn’t want to miss out. The team has a very bad track record of drafting defensive backs in the first round, so they’ll be hoping Arnette bucks the trend. Thanks to his experience, he could see significant action on the field early on.