Las Vegas Raiders: Mike Mayock confirms Damarious Randall’s position

Las Vegas Raiders (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Las Vegas Raiders (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock had some interesting things to say during Tuesday’s press conference including what he said about Damarious Randall.

When the Las Vegas Raiders originally signed defensive back Damarious Randall a week ago, there was an initial discussion about what position he would ultimately be playing.

But after Tuesday’s press conference with general manager Mike Mayock, it appears any questions about his position have been put to rest.

During the press conference, Mayock spoke highly of the player who he had ranked as his number one free safety coming out of college back in 2014. And he doubled-down on that notion by stating that he would, indeed, be starting at free safety.

"“Day one, he’ll be a free safety. We love the fact he can drop down and cover in the slot, but he’ll start out as a free safety and ultimately we think that’s his best position.”"

More from Las Vegas Raiders News

There was initially a question about whether the hybrid defensive back would stay at the safety role he had played for the best two seasons or if he’d play more at cornerback given the Raiders’ weakness at the position.

But Mayock put an end to any of those rumors by explicitly stating what Randall’s role would be.

At the moment, Trayvon Mullen is slated to be the team’s top cornerback in 2020 and it’s unlikely any moves from now until Week 1 will change that. The 2019 second-round pick showed promise as a rookie, but that’s clearly not a role he’s ready for just yet.

More from Golden Gate Sports

Meanwhile, the starter opposite him is undetermined and it’s very likely the team addresses the potion in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Raiders would love for 2019 fourth-round pick Isaiah Johnson to take a big leap next season, but he missed a good portion of his rookie season with an injury.

The depth on the outside is concerning and it’s not as if their slot option is much better. Lamarcus Joyner struggled mightily in the nickel cornerback role in 2019, but the Raiders will be counting on him improving in 2020.

However, while their cornerback depth is definitely concerning, the Raiders could at least take solace in knowing that the safety position is the best it’s been in a while.

Randall will start alongside Johnathan Abram who will look to pick up where he left off before his untimely injury at the very beginning of last year. The Raiders have high hopes for Abram who made an excellent first impression before his rookie season ended prematurely.

Behind them, the likes of Erik Harris and free-agent addition Jeff Heath will provide excellent depth at a position that now looks like one of the team’s strengths on defense.

The decision to play Randall at free safety isn’t a surprising one in any way, but it will have ripple effects throughout the defense. And it does change the way fans will view the team’s needs going into the draft.

Next. Raiders 7-Round Mock Draft: Las Vegas adds two Oklahoma superstars. dark

Expect the Las Vegas Raiders to target a cornerback early but for the safety position to remain untouched.