It feels like the AFC West has more offensive weapons at receiver than ever before, and the Las Vegas Raiders' cornerbacks are going to be tasked with facing some heightened competition this season.
The Chiefs, Broncos, and Chargers kept their starters intact and added more talent around them. Focusing on one target isn't an option anymore and the Raiders' cornerbacks will each need to win their assignments on a regular basis.
As we advance further in the 2020 Position Battles, let's look at some of the new additions to the cornerback room.
Previous Position Battles: Quarterbacks
Towards the halfway point of 2019, the Raiders initiated their changing of the guard at cornerback. Former first-round pick Gareon Conley was shipped to the Houston Texans in exchange for a third-round pick, and to free up playing time for then-rookie Trayvon Mullen.
From Mullen's first snap Week 1 to his final snap in Week 17, the former Clemson Tiger developed quickly and established himself as the team's future lockdown corner, but General Manager Mike Mayock and Head Coach Jon Gruden knew they needed to find his complement on the opposite side this offseason.
Of the team's seven draft picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, two of them were spent on cornerbacks: Damon Arnette (No. 19 overall) and Amik Robertson (No. 139 overall). Arnette, the former Ohio State Buckeye, is expected to grow into the starting job, but he'll have some competition with veteran Prince Amukamara, who is determined to earn the role.
"My number one job is to definitely be a starter on this team," Amukamara said following his signing in May. "No, if, and, or buts about it, that's my number one goal. With that, I for sure plan on… I plan on leading organically and stuff like that."
The nine-year vet will certainly be asked to lead, given the youth of the cornerback room — the Raiders have an average cornerback age of 24. A mixture of veteran leadership and budding talent should be enough for the Raiders to contend with some of the best receivers in the league, and they'll need to in order for the team to win games.
Last year, the Raiders finished 29th in the league in interceptions with nine and were -2 in turnover differential. With more pressure from the defensive line and added depth at cornerback, I'm predicting the team finishes with 14 interceptions and a turnover differential of +5.
Take a look at photos of the Las Vegas Raiders cornerbacks heading into 2020 Training Camp. The group is featured by second-year starter Trayvon Mullen and includes free-agent addition Prince Amukamara and draft picks Damon Arnette and Amik Robertson.