49ers Attempted to Trade for Young Raiders Defensive Star: Report

nate hobbs

Getty Las Vegas Raiders CB Nate Hobbs.

The Las Vegas Raiders could’ve been sellers at the trade deadline but with general manager Dave Ziegler getting fired, the team decided to stay put. It wasn’t for a lack of interest in the team’s players.

According to Adam Caplan of Pro Football Network, the San Francisco 49ers reached out to the Raiders about a trade for cornerback Nate Hobbs.

“[The 49ers] looked into several coverage players [at the trade deadline], including Bears CB Jaylon Johnson and other recognizable names such as Raiders versatile CB Nate Hobbs,” Caplan wrote in a November 27 column. “The Raiders see Hobbs as one of their best defensive players and wouldn’t entertain any trade discussions. Hobbs, who was drafted to play the slot initially in 2021, has shown the ability to play inside and outside over the last two seasons.”

Hobbs is just 24 and has emerged as one of the Raiders’ better cornerbacks. He’s a piece they’d likely want to build the defense around instead of trading him away. He is the team’s highest-graded cornerback on Pro Football Focus with a grade of 69.1, which is 35th in the NFL overall.

The next highest-graded Raiders cornerback is Amik Robertson, who is ranked 90th in the NFL. Barring a big change, Hobbs should be in Las Vegas for a long time.

Nate Hobbs Confident in Defense

The Raiders defense got a boost when Antonio Pierce was promoted to interim head coach. They held three straight opponents to 20 or fewer points, including the No. 1 ranked Miami Dolphins offense.

Nate Hobbs has a lot of belief in the team’s defense.

“I think everybody understands their job and their role on the team,” Hobbs said during his November 24 media availability, via The Athletic. “Everybody’s selfless. … We’ve also got that confidence in each other. Like, real confidence. It’s not like, ‘Oh, I think he’s going to do that.’ It’s, ‘I know if he’s on the field, he’s going to do his job.’”

The defense came crashing back to Earth against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 12 and allowed 31 points. The Raiders have a bye week to reset and face a Minnesota Vikings team that has major quarterback issues. That should be a good game to get the defense back on track.

Nate Hobbs Talks Injuries

One thing that’s held Nate Hobbs back the last couple of seasons has been injuries. He missed much of last year with a hand injury and played through a torn labrum throughout most of his rookie season.

He also dealt with an ankle injury that kept him out of three games earlier this season.

“The injury is there and you can feel it, but it was like, ‘You’ve got to toughen up,’” Hobbs said. “It was a win-or-go-home-type deal. I had to choose. And it’s amazing what your mind can do once you make it up. Sometimes I wasn’t even thinking about it, and it wouldn’t affect me during the game.”

Hobbs has proven his toughness to the Raiders already but continues to play through pain. He’s had some ups and downs on the field due to the injury issues but he remains one of the team’s top defenders. The Raiders will need him to stay healthy down the stretch.