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Raiders minicamp: Gus Bradley likes options at nickel cornerback

Nevin Lawson, Nate Hobbs and Amik Robertson are competing for the position

Miami Dolphins v Las Vegas Raiders
Nevin Lawson
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

One of the more competitive positions for the Las Vegas Raiders this training camp will be the slot cornerback position.

The Raiders are looking for a full-time replacement for Lamarcus Joyner, who was released and is now with the New York Jets.

At this week’s minicamp, new Las Vegas defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said there is strong competition between veteran Nevin Lawson, fifth-round draft pick Nate Hobbs, and 2020 fourth-round pick Amik Robertson. Bradley said all three are performing well in the nickel and it should be an interesting training-camp battle.

“I think right now there is a lot that we put on that plate, so at the nickel spot you’re seeing a lot of guys rotate in there,” Bradley said. “But guys like Lawson has really jumped out. I think he’s a guy that has picked up very well on it. Amik, we’ve got playing there. He’s doing a nice job on the inside. The guy that’s probably really jumped out at us is Hobbs, the kid from Illinois. Very impressed with him. I think he’s come in with a real good knowledge of the position, so his learning curve has really jumped up.”

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 14 Illinois at Rutgers
Nate Hobbs
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It will be interesting see what goes down with these three players. Lawson, who will miss the first two games of the season for a suspension for breaking the league’s PED policy, is the only player in the group who has much NFL experience, but he has been mostly a backup. Yet, the Raiders like the intensity he plays with.

In Robertson and Hobbs, the Raiders have two recent draft picks competing against each other. Robertson was a disappointment last year as he played just 35 snaps. With Bradley saying such glowing words about Hobbs, it makes you wonder if he’s already ahead of Robertson on the depth chart.

I can’t wait to see this battle play out in the summer.