The Raiders changed defensive coordinators after fielding a unit that General Manager Mike Mayock said in January had no dynamic players during the 2020 season.
Mayock has expended a fair amount of draft capital in trying to find those players. He’s picked nine defensive players in the two drafts he’s overseen and the lack of success doesn’t make for a great review of his work.
The secondary is a particular sore spot as the Raiders have used two first-round picks and six overall selections on defensive backs without much return on the investment. Mayock said this week that the team is looking for a lot more from those players in 2020.
“We’ve expanded some resources in our secondary,” Mayock said, via Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com. “We’ve got a first-round safety in John Abram; we got a second-round corner [Trayvon Mullen] who we think is going to be a very good football player. We’ve got a fourth-round corner in Amik Robertson, another first-round corner in Damon Arnette. . . . So, really, what we need more than anything is for all those players to take it up a notch or two. I’m talking about commitment to the game, work ethic, perseverance, being in the locker room working with your brothers.”
The Raiders have several other areas to address outside of their defensive backfield, so growth from within would be the best way for the team to progress toward the kind of defense that’s been missing throughout Jon Gruden’s return to the Raiders sideline.