Raiders Roster Evaluation: Nate Hobbs

The Las Vegas Raiders 2021 fifth-round pick Nate Hobbs, could earn reps at the slot cornerback position right away
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The 2021 NFL Draft is now behind us, and that means teams across the NFL are in the process of piecing together their entire rosters.

The Las Vegas Raiders are likely no different before what could be a pivotal fourth season of the second Jon Gruden era.

That's why we'll be going over roster evaluations for the Raiders players and position groups to see how everyone's stock measures up heading into the summer.

The Raiders have built up a lot of competition in their secondary heading into this season, and head coach Jon Gruden has said they're going to go with the best man regardless of status. 

That could be a promising development for rookie cornerback Nate Hobbs, the Raiders' fifth-round pick from this year's draft. 

The former member of the Illinois Fighting Illini has been used to playing right away, leading the Illini in defensive snaps as a true freshman in 2017. 

Over the course of his college career, Hobbs would finish with 166 total tackles, 12.5 for a loss, three interceptions, and 11 pass breakups. 

He brings very good size for a slot corner at 6-0 and 195 pounds, along with having good feet, leaping ability, and change of direction ability. 

Scouts noted going into the draft that even with the way his size could help him contest catches, he doesn't do a good job of locating the ball. 

Scouts also said he needs to improve on his route recognition and instincts for the position. 

Reports from the Raiders minicamp, though, point to Hobbs making a great early impression, with Gruden and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley both having good things to say about the rookie's work. 

Whether it leads to at least a consistent rotational role remains to be seen, but Hobbs has done what he needed to do in making himself stand out amongst the deep group of Raider cornerbacks. 

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