Raiders News: Jon Gruden Says Nate Hobbs ‘Might End Up Being A Starter’
Nate Hobbs, Raiders
Dec 30, 2019; Santa Clara, California, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Nate Hobbs (8) during warm ups before the game against the California Golden Bears at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Following the win over the Seattle Seahawks in the preseason opener for the Las Vegas Raiders, one young player on the defensive side of the football really caught the eye of head coach Jon Gruden.

Gruden was asked about Hobbs’ play after his first game in Silver and Black. The rookie made an impression in the game with a sack on Geno Smith, and Gruden went as far as to say the rookie may end up being a starter for the Raiders come Week 1.

“He’s a little bit like Zay Jones,” Gruden said. “There’s certain guys that bring juice. They bring something to the game that others can’t. You can’t explain it. He’s one of these guys that’s into it all the time. Walk-throughs, meetings. He’s a nickel corner and might end up being a starter for us. We gave him the start tonight. It’s never too big for him. Played good on special teams and wire-to-wire he was in there at the end of the game. We have a lot to look at before we make any conclusions, but we do like our fifth-round pick.”

The defense was the main concern for the Raiders during the NFL offseason, with the storied franchise making a flurry of moves to try to be better on that side of the football. Along with hiring Gus Bradley to be the team’s new defensive coordinator, the Raiders brought in potential defensive upgrades in free agency and the NFL draft.

Hobbs didn’t make headlines for the Raiders like Trevon Moehrig or Alex Leatherwood, but the fifth-round draft pick is already making noise and will be a player to watch in the next two preseason games.