Raiders News: Trayvon Mullen Looking Forward To Earning Trust As Starter

Oakland Raiders cornerback Trayvon Mullen has been named as the starter after the team went ahead and traded cornerback Gareon Conley to the Houston Texans in exchange for a 2020 third-round pick ahead of their matchup in Week 8.

Conley’s departure left a rather notable void in the secondary. Fortunately, it appears the Raiders are confident in Mullen’s ability to serve as a viable replacement.

Mullen has not seen the field much in recent weeks after a promising start to the year. He is looking forward to solidifying his status as a full-time starter.

Mullen understands he will need to take advantage of his opportunity against Houston, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports:

“This means a lot,” Mullen said. “I’m going to prove to them that they can trust and believe in me, and that I’m going to make the plays that come to me.”

Mullen added that he is grateful for Conley doing what he can to help him improve while they were teammates:

“That was a good feeling knowing I have an opportunity, but it’s tough losing a guy I could depend on in Gareon, someone who was helping me grow and get better,” Mullen said. “I have to put that aside and start making plays and help this team.”

It is undoubtedly encouraging to see that Conley was able to leave a lasting impact during his tenure in Oakland. Mullen will now have a chance to take what he has been taught and emerge as a permanent starter moving forward.

The rookie was initially taken with the 40th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and established an integral role for himself early on with 64 snaps on defense in his first three career games. Unfortunately, he experienced a downtick in playing time after logging in just 14 snaps over the last three games.

It is safe to say that Mullen will have ample time to find his footing in Week 8. Making his first career start against such a high-powered Texans offense is hardly ideal, however, he will need to find a way to discourage quarterback Deshaun Watson from looking his way.

The 22-year-old is undoubtedly hoping that his familiarity with Watson from their days at Clemson will provide an added edge for him in coverage. If Mullen is able to prove himself against this formidable Houston offense, it would be a positive first step in solidifying his status as the starter.

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