Though the Las Vegas Raiders used their first pick of the draft on an offensive lineman, this year’s draft was all about defense for the silver and black. Five of their seven draft picks were used on defensive players. One interesting player the team picked up was Nate Hobbs.
The cornerback out of Illinois was selected in the fifth round and has plenty of upside. He’s a strong athlete and a good tackler. However, he does have issues in run support and can be inconsistent in coverage. He’s the type of that’s perfect to take a chance on in the fifth round. He certainly isn’t a big name and he’s well aware of that fact.
“A lot of people didn’t know who I was, and I got on the scene quick and made the most of that,” Hobbs said after getting drafted. “Got to college. I wasn’t a high recruit; I was about a two-star, only had one Power-5 offer. I made noise when I was in college that got me to the position where I am now.”
Hobbs thrives in Cover 3, which is exactly the kind of defense Gus Bradley plans to run with the Raiders. He’s going to be a very intriguing prospect to keep an eye on at training camp.
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Hobbs Talks Being an Underdog
As a fifth-round pick, the expectations for Hobbs won’t be very high. In fact, he could have a hard time even making the team. Regardless, he knows his family is proud of him and he’s comfortable in the role of being an underdog.
“I think they’d be really proud of me,” Hobbs said. “I know they’re proud of me right now. I know they’re in Heaven, looking down on me and I know their hands are on me, they’re guiding me really. I’m just so happy I could make this happen. It’s like fate. My uncle, he used to always tell me I was going to be here when I was in high school, and I didn’t know what he was talking about because I’ve always been an underdog. I’ve always been a guy who wasn’t supposed to be here, but I’m here now.”
Hobbs Makes Bold Statement
Players who slide in the draft can often get down on themselves. Hobbs was the 167th player taken in the draft and he’s using it as a big source of motivation. He put the whole NFL on notice while also making a bold claim to the Raiders.
“I won’t forget the guys who were taken before me, the guys who I feel like didn’t do as much as me but were still picked up. I’m just so thankful for the Raiders for taking a chance. They won’t regret it.”
“They’re getting the best underdog they’ve ever drafted.”
The Raiders have been home to some of the greatest underdogs in NFL history. Hobbs will have some pretty massive shoes to fill. Considering Las Vegas really needs better play from their cornerbacks, Hobbs will have plenty of opportunities to make a difference.