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Raiders roster 2023: Can Sam Webb be this good?

Vet Las Vegas WR has high praise for 2nd-year CB

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Rams
Sam Webb
Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

After going undrafted out of Division II Missouri Western State, cornerback Sam Webb was a standout during the preseason last year for the Las Vegas Raiders. Webb posted a 76.7 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus last August which was a top 20 mark among qualifying cornerbacks and made the Raiders’ 53-man roster.

He was sharp when called upon during the regular season as well and caught the eye of superstar wide receiver Davante Adams. During OTAs this past week, Adams was asked about the second-year cornerback’s competitiveness and compared Webb to Jaire Alexander, a top corner in the NFL, in that regard.

Adams shared a story of how, unlike a lot of other young players, Alexander wouldn’t just accept defeat against the All-Pro.

“Usually (when) I beat a guy in one-on-one’s and they kind of just chalk it up like, ‘I’m a rookie, that’s Davante, like it is what it is. I’m not going to get kicked off the team for him beating me,’ and Jaire was in the locker room right after the first training camp practice and he had his iPad out before anybody came in there, like literally looking at the plays trying to figure out what it was, and he comes up to me and asked like, ‘I don’t want to bother you, but like what happened here? How did you know I was going to react this way, or whatever?’”

According to the wideout, Webb has a similar mentality.

“So, Sam kind of has that edge,” Adams continued, “and I’m not comparing him to Jaire. Jaire is obviously in a different place in his career right now. But the intentionality and just the care to want to get better like that and to learn and for it to mean as much as it does to him, that says a lot about him as a player.”

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders
Sam Webb
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Getting to face off and learn every day from a teammate of Adams’ caliber can be extremely valuable for a young corner. In addition to making the games seem easier as the competition level drops, those reps and that relationship can help an up-and-coming defensive back understand the mindset of an elite player and get valuable feedback.

That being said, it still takes a willingness to learn which has stood out to Adams about Webb.

“When you have an open book like that, it’s easy to kind of put him under your wing and teach him in,” the wideout explained. “The more we do, the more he wants to learn, the more he comes and talks to me about it. And then I see the growth and then we’ll talk about something. I might shoot myself in the foot, tell him something, and then he’ll actually play it really well based off of that, but that’s what we want.

“That’s what I want to see as a leader and as a vet on the team. I want to see the young guys take in information, not just coming up and talking just to be like, ‘Oh, I talked to Davante about whatever,’ just to put on a show. So, I respect that about him, that it means a lot to him to be able to ask those type of questions, which is why I kind of naturally gravitated toward him.”

That’s high praise for Webb’s attitude and drive from someone who has a strong voice in the locker room. And, from the sounds of it, the second-year pro is doing everything he needs to do to put together an impressive training camp and potentially take the next step in his career.