Right now, the Raiders’ defense is still atrocious. Some of that might not change until Paul Guenther gets fired. It’s okay; his days are numbered as it is. Until then, I watch the defense’s performances to see the potential it can have one day.
Clelin Ferrell is getting better but nowhere close to living up to his draft slot (fourth overall). Maxx Crosby has shown that he was a steal in the fifth round of that same draft. Johnathan Abram has made his presence felt on the field with his Earth-shattering hits. Although, sometimes that leads him to be out of position. One bright spot that seems to be forgotten on the Raiders defense is Trayvon Mullen.
Trayvon Mullen didn’t play a ton in the first half of his rookie year. He played a lot during the second half of his rookie season. He would cover anyone that was in front of him. Mullen did great as a rookie. For a rookie, his Pass interference calls were surprisingly low. I won’t say anything like he is a lock-down corner or anything YET, but man, is he promising. Even at the start of this year, he is in a lot of plays. He makes excellent tackles, has pass breakups, has clean coverage. Sometimes, I would go as far as saying he plays better than LaMarcus Joyner.
What’s Trayvon Mullen’s ceiling? Could there be a Trayvon Mullen Island one day? Maybe. Is it likely? Eh, there’s only a handful of corners that deserve that respect, so, no. But, I’ll take a sharp corner any day of the week. The Raiders defense is young, but there is potential there. Maxx Crosby had ten sacks last year. Clelin Ferrell does his job, but he needs to reach his full potential if the Raiders want to look semi-smart, taking him fourth overall. Johnathan Abram can strike fear into anyone that has the ball with his hits. Trayvon Mullen can hopefully corner to shut down receivers. Time will only tell what this defense can do. But, I wouldn’t hold my breath until after Paul Guenther is gone.