While there were plenty of concerns on defense last season, Mullen was one of the players on defense playing with consistency and a sense of urgency.
"At a point, you have to have a mindset, come down to your mindset, your goals. What do you want? I mean, a lot of things can happen and a lot of things come up. I mean, we can have many excuses, but it gets to a point of what are you going to do about it. That's the most part of how I think about my beliefs and that's how it is," Mullen said on putting his words into action.
The Oakland Raiders selected him in the second round, 40th overall, of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Since then, Mullen has set himself as an emerging star in the NFL and has become the Raiders' unsung hero over the last two seasons.
Mullen is leading by example: "I got to continue to get better, take no days off, you got to stay healthy, be able to be dependent on, be able to make plays--key guys together."
During the offseason, players look back, reflect on the previous season and find ways of improving their game.
"And for me, there are some things I gotta get better at. I know I will get better at. I played pretty well, but I know I can be more dominant in a lot of areas. And that will happen for sure," Mullen said confidently, determined to improve in areas that need a little more polishing.
Mullen finished the 2020 season with 62 total tackles, including 54 solo stops, 14 pass deflections and two interceptions. Still, aside from improving his game on the field, he is taking a more significant role on the team.
"I just want to become more of a leader for the guys, the younger guys in specific, because I knew I was in that position," Mullen said. "Continue to carry and help guys, create a platform. Like I do."
Mullen elaborated on what he expects from himself: "I set goals for myself all the time, things that I need to pinpoint on and things that I can help us as a group get better."
If there was any doubt on how notable Mullen would be in the locker room, he has surpassed all expectations. As he emerges into being a force on the field, I would not be surprised to see him earn the role of captain one day.
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