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Silver Minings: What has happened with Damon Arnette?

The former first round pick is struggling through minicamp

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at New York Jets Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of fans across the NFL are still scratching their head at the Damon Arnette pick from the 2020 NFL Draft. He wasn’t on many big boards to go in the first round, but that didn’t stop the Raiders from taking him in the top 20 with the 19th overall pick.

Fast forward a year later and the selection still isn’t looking good. If anything, it might be worse.

The 25 year old appeared in only nine games last year, as he dealt with COVID-19 issues and injuries. He totaled 25 tackles with a tackle for loss and two pass deflections. According to Vic Tafur from The Athletic, Arnette has “become almost an after-thought.”

On Wednesday, reporters asked head coach Jon Gruden about the cornerback position. Here’s what he had to say:

“We’ve put a lot of (draft) picks into our secondary if you count Tre’von Moehrig and Tyree Gillespie and obviously Karl Joseph and John Abram,” he said. “We have a lot of high picks in that secondary. They’re young.

“Hayward is going to be a veteran that brings us some seasoning and some day-to-day consistency. He’s going to provide a lot of competition, I promise you that. He’s not here to give away his job.

“I don’t care if it’s Nate Hobbs and Amik Robertson. I don’t care what round they came in, we’re going to play the best four to five guys. The players will decide that.”

Obviously there is still a lot of time left in the offseason and anything. Plus, Arnette is only entering his second season so you can’t label him a bust just yet. However, he’s already 25 and it appears his time with the Raiders may be limited if he can’t turn things around quickly.

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