Vikings Steal Young Defender From Raiders Practice Squad

jon gruden

Getty Jon Gruden on the Las Vegas Raiders' sideline.

The Las Vegas Raiders have already had two players poached from their practice squad this season in Kyle Emanuel and Madre Harper. It looks like they’re losing a third guy to a different team. According to CE Sports Agency, the Minnesota Vikings are signing cornerback Dylan Mabin off the Raiders’ practice squad.

Mabin joined the Raiders as an undrafted free agent last season and spent the entire year on the team’s practice squad. They brought him back this year and he’s remained on the practice squad. Mabin hasn’t played an NFL game yet and played college ball at an FCS school. It’s really hard to know what exactly the Vikings are getting in him but they clearly like him. He’ll be on their active roster so he should have a chance to play very soon.

While the Raiders are likely bummed to see him go, this a really good opportunity for the young cornerback. Mike Zimmer runs a similar defense to Paul Guenther so it shouldn’t be too much of a learning curve for him.

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Damon Arnette at Practice

The Raiders had really high hopes for rookie first-round pick Damon Arnette heading into the season. He struggled in the first couple of games but was getting better. Unfortunately, he’s missed the last several games with a wrist injury. He’s getting closer to returning but it looks like it could take another week. Arnette is at Raiders practice this week but he’s not participating.

Head coach Jon Gruden left the door open for Arnette to return to this week but if he doesn’t practice, it’s highly unlikely he plays. There are still two more practice days this week so perhaps the Raiders plan to bring him back on Thursday or Friday. If he practices either of those days, there will at least be a chance he’s coming back for the game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Arnette Receives Grade for First Half of Season

Though Arnette has missed most of the season, he’s been on the field enough to receive a grade for his performance. Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report gave Arnette a C for how he’s played this year:

While Damon Arnette has played only three games because of a hand injury, his early-season work has left something to be desired. Through Week 3, he had surrendered nine passes on 11 targets for 110 yards and an opposing passer rating of 108.3.

The positive is that Arnette did start each of his three games and played at least 72 percent of the snaps in each of them. While he wasn’t a blanket in coverage, he played well enough that he wasn’t as heavily targeted as some rookies have been.

Arnette clearly has work to do but a lot of rookies have been playing worse than expected. Former Ohio State teammate of Arnette, Jeff Okudah, hasn’t been great this season either. There’s plenty of time for the young cornerback to get better and he should be returning soon.

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