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Evaluating Rookie Nate Hobbs’ Role


Rookie cornerback Nate Hobbs will be one of the many new faces joining the Las Vegas Raiders defense this season.

The 6-foot, 195-pound Kentucky native was signed by Las Vegas after being selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft out of Illinois.

Hobbs had a less-than-ideal, injury-riddled senior season in which he started only five games after starting all 13 the season before. Yet, the cornerback still recorded 31 tackles. He also had a crucial interception against Rutgers in the final moments of the game that resulted in a game-winning field goal for the Fighting Illini.

Had it not been for injury, Hobbs probably would have gone earlier in the draft, especially when considering his junior year stats. Hobbs was selected All-Big Ten honorable mention. He also recorded a career-high 10 tackles against Wisconsin on Oct. 19, 2019.

Hobbs is used to excelling in a Cover 3 defense. This will likely play out in his favor under new Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Bradley sticks to a Cover 3 scheme and is expected to implement it in Las Vegas.

Other notable Raiders in the defensive secondary include strong safety Johnathan Abram, cornerback Damon Arnette, and rookie free safety Trevon Moehrig.

Hobbs probably will have to work his way into a first-string role, but probably will serve at the outset in a reserve role in contributing to the defense.

Fortunately for Hobbs, his defensive experience and youth could be the key to his way in soon enough. Regardless, his presence on Coach Jon Gruden’s team should only prove to be beneficial.

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