Raiders

Jon Gruden says Damon Arnette better than Jeff Okudah on NFL draft call

Jon Gruden says Damon Arnette better than Jeff Okudah on NFL draft call

The Raiders shocked some Thursday night when they selected Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Arnette was the fourth cornerback off the board, following his college teammate, Jeff Okudah (No. 3), Florida's CJ Henderson (No. 9) and Clemson's A.J. Terrell (No. 16). Arnette was viewed by most as a late second-round pick, but coach Jon Gruden's draft call to Arnette shows how much the Silver and Black truly believe in his ability.

"Hey, are you better than Okudah?" Gruden asked Arnette, who responded with a "yes, sir."

"You're god damn right," Gruden said. "You're going to have a lot to prove to everybody."

Gruden is a good hype man, to be sure. But that also shows how impressed he was with what he saw on tape from Arnette.

Arnette is a physical corner who excels in press-man coverage. He can get handsy at times, and his technique needs to be refined. He has al the tools to become an effective corner for the Silver and Black.

Okudah, on the other hand, is seen as the most technically sound corner to come out of college in years, which is why the Detroit Lions took him No. 3 overall. Arnette was targeted early and often this past season, as opposing quarterbacks chose to go after him rather than Okudah. Arnette held up, allowing the lowest passer rating when targeted in single coverage.

While the Arnette selection has been criticized as a reach, Gruden's belief in his new corner is evident, and shows why the Raiders felt the need to take him instead of trade down and risk losing him.

[RELATED: Mayock doesn't believe Arnette was reach at No. 19]

Arnette and Trayvon Mullen give the Raiders a tough, talented duo on the outside. They'll be tested often in an AFC West that features the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, the revamped Denver Broncos offense, and a Los Angeles Chargers team that drafted quarterback Justin Herbert No. 6 overall to lead their offense.

Time will tell if Arnette was worthy of the high selection and is better than Okudah. But it's evident that his competitiveness and underdog mentality will suit him well in Las Vegas.

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How Raiders' Maxx Crosby is making big impact in Las Vegas community

How Raiders' Maxx Crosby is making big impact in Las Vegas community

His roots are blue-collar. Sunup to sundown. Dad still rips up floors and lays tiles and handles demolition. Mom is a photographer who worked as a waitress and held three jobs when he was in high school.

Maxx Crosby knows the importance of perseverance.

And, apparently, a giving spirit.

Read more on the Review-Journal

Raiders' Allegiant Stadium roof illumination signals end of branding

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USATSI

Raiders' Allegiant Stadium roof illumination signals end of branding

With the expected completion date for Allegiant Stadium drawing near, the company tasked with installing the majority of signs is capping off its work with a trio of the largest signs on the site.

The two largest, the 50-by-500-foot Allegiant Stadium signs on top of the stadium’s roof, were installed last month by Yesco, the Salt Lake City-based sign company whose largest production facility is in Las Vegas, and to the surprise of many, a portion of one of the signs was lit up during a test run in early July.

“We have just recently wrapped up the exterior Allegiant Stadium branding,” said Jeff Young, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Yesco. “They’re going to be quite dramatic in the air, and we’re very excited about seeing them during the games and other events. It’s going to be pretty special.”

Read more on the Las Vegas Review-Journal