The Oakland Raiders were one of the worst defensive teams in the league last season, but the hope is that will improve in 2019. After using six of their nine picks in the 2019 NFL Draft on defensive players, all that is left is to get the young group onto the field.
One of those defensive players was cornerback Trayvon Mullen, part of the trio of Clemson University players the Raiders selected. The Tigers ended up beating the University of Alabama in the College Football Championship.
Mullen had an excellent championship game that helped the cornerback decide to go pro after just three college seasons. Although that game may have been the deciding factor, Mullen was ready to go pro midway through the season, via Scott Keepfer of The Greenville News:
“I knew I had the ability to take the step to the next level by the middle of my junior year,” Mullen said. “But that (game) helped me make my final decision.”
Mullen had a solid final year at Clemson, putting up 36 total tackles, two sacks, and one interception. The year prior he grabbed an impressive three interceptions. Mullen, who was drafted in the second round, will be joined by former teammates defensive end Clelin Ferrell and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow. Ferrell and Renfrow were taken during the first and fifth rounds, respectively.
Like many Raiders rookies, there could be a chance for Mullen to start. Many of the Raiders cornerbacks are over 30 years old, including starter Marcus Gilchrist.
The Raiders recently signed Mullen to his rookie contract, along with Ferrell and Johnathan Abram so they will all be on the field for all of Training Camp, which is very valuable for young players.