Las Vegas Raiders: In-depth scouting report of 1st-round pick Damon Arnette

Raiders (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Las Vegas Raiders, Damon Arnette
Las Vegas Raiders, Damon Arnette (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /



  • Extremely physical
  • Strong jab
  • Has ability playing in zone, press or off-man
  • Awareness in zone, understands spacing in zone
  • Fights with receivers through the catch point
  • Willing tackler


  • Relies on physicality too often, and a lot of that won’t fly in the NFL
  • Footwork at the LOS
  • Lacks ideal speed, isn’t a twitchy athlete nor very quick
  • Transitions could be smoother


Damon Arnette is the definition of a dog. His greatest asset is his physicality and how he attacks the ball all the way through the catch point.

While his footwork at the line of scrimmage isn’t the quickest, his jab can throw receivers off-balance and he does have the recovery speed to still mirror receivers through their breaks.

I think his ability in zone may be why Mayock and Gruden preferred him over other available cornerbacks. Make no mistake, Arnette is a press-man corner, but his ability in zone is arguably best of the class.

His ball skills are also solid, he doesn’t just play the receiver (*Cough* D.J. Hayden), he turns his head and looks back at the quarterback and knows how to track the ball in the air as well.

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His physicality does show in run-support as he is willing to come up and hit somebody, but he isn’t yet a good tackler. He tends to dive at the legs or go for the big hit leading with his shoulder which pays off when it lands, but doesn’t land often enough.

Stats are not a very good way to judge cornerbacks, but the fact that Arnette gave up only one touchdown in each of his seasons despite being targeted heavily due to playing across from Okudah most definitely shows what he is capable of.

In conclusion, selecting Damon Arnette was almost certainly a reach, but draft value means nothing once the players hit the field and produce or don’t produce.

This pick reminded me of the Clelin Ferrell pick from last year. Mayock and Gruden want their guys and don’t care about the perceived value which is based mostly on mock drafts.

Next. 2020 NFL Draft: Comparing the Raiders and 49ers’ first-round hauls. dark

If the 2019 NFL Draft class is anything to go off of, it’s probably best to trust that the front office is right in that thinking, at least for now.