Raiders’ Jon Gruden says Keisean Nixon has ‘made more plays than any of our corners’
The Raiders signed Nixon as undrafted rookie earlier this offseason. In his last year at South Carolina in 2018, Nixon had 63 tackles and nine pass deflections.
Coming into training camp, Nixon was brought in to be a contributor on defense and special teams. Gruden seems to be pleased with the former South Carolina product in training camp and preseason.
After the first two weeks of the preseason, the undrafted cornerback combined for six tackles and a pass deflection. Then, even after they shortened the field in the Raiders third preseason contest against the Green Bay Packers, Nixon didn’t waver.
While in coverage, Nixon held his own and didn’t allow any big-plays in his direction. The Raiders rookie ended with a tackle and another pass deflection. Along with his defense, Oakland also deployed Nixon as a gunner on special teams.
In 2018, the Raiders were only able to muster up 17 takeaways on defense (tied for 22nd in the NFL). Gruden wants more from his secondary in 2019 and it’s possible that Nixon gradually makes his way up the depth chart.
Currently, the Raiders are loaded with young players at cornerback in Gareon Conley, Daryl Worley, and Trayvon Mullen. Nixon will have to keep turning heads if he wants to propel himself ahead of any of those guys.
With all 32 teams needing to make the cut down to 53 players next Saturday, it is safe to say that Nixon has cemented his spot on the roster.