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Rookie Trayvon Mullen pegged to start at cornerback for Raiders after trade of Gareon Conley

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Denver Broncos v Oakland Raiders Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

It must be approaching the trade deadline because Jon Gruden is trading away former Reggie McKenzie top picks for draft picks. Last year it was former first round pick Amari Cooper who was sent to the Cowboys for a first round pick. This time it’s former first round pick Gareon Conley to the Texans for a third round pick.

With each departure, there comes the question of who replaces them. Last year they had no one who could replace Cooper’s production on the team. They were simply in rebuild mode and got an offer they couldn’t refuse. This wasn’t that kind of offer. This was them wanting to trade a player and get what they could and they think they think they have the depth to do it.

“We do have some young corners that we drafted. Trayvon Mullen. We have Isaiah Johnson coming back soon, Keisean Nixon and Nevin Lawson is back. We want to look at some younger players. We want to wish Gareon the best and thank him for his contribution.”

Among those corners, it’s second round rookie Trayvon Mullen who Gruden is itching to get more playing time.

While Conley played nearly every snap last week against the Packers, Mullen has seen his snaps almost eliminated entirely. He had just one defensive snap in Green Bay and just 14 over the past three weeks. No matter, as of now, he has been tabbed as the starter replacing Conley.

“We’re going to try to get Trayvon ready to go,” said Gruden.

“The only way to get these guys ready for primetime is to put them out there. We like the progress that he’s made, that’s why we took him at the top of the second round.”

Nixon was a standout as an undrafted rookie out of South Carolina. He hasn’t played much on defense and was inactive last week against the Packers. Gruden mentioned that Nixon and the others “need to see the field” and with each of the moving up the depth chart one spot now, they should do that.