Anthony Averett knows that, in football, anything can happen.

Playing sparingly in his first three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, 2021 proved to be a quality year for Averett after Baltimore’s secondary was decimated with injuries, as he was thrust into a consequential role. And despite the short notice, Averett produced.

He was targeted 101 times and allowed 56 completions for 768 yards and three touchdowns last year. Averett also collected 54 total tackles, a career high. Meanwhile, the Raiders’ top two corners during the 2021 season, Casey Hayward Jr. and Brandon Facyson were targeted at a lesser rate while allowing 949 yards and nine touchdowns.

Averett ready to take a step forward in Las Vegas

Averett is eager to take his 2021 experience and raise the level of production found in the Raiders cornerback room. The 27-year-old, after being thrown into the fire and tested last season, feels as though his game has grown because of it.

“I mean, it wasn’t really a big surprise either,” Averett said of being targeted last season. “I felt like I was part of every team’s game plan. They went away from Marlon [Humphrey] so I was the guy they targeted. And I feel like towards the end of the season it kind of slowed down a little bit. I started getting a little more respect.”

His experience of being tested through his 14 starts also gave Averett some needed perspective on what life is like being an everyday starter. In 2022, Averett wants more of the same — despite the change in location.

“I think did pretty much everything pretty well and there are always things I can improve on,” Averett said when asked about what he learned last season and what he can work on this year in Las Vegas. “I know I’m a fast guy, and I can cover guys. There are not too many guys that I can’t keep up with, so I think that’s what fits me very well. As far as details, there’s things I just need to work on.”

How he fits in 

it’s Averett’s trademark can-do attitude that leaves him primed to take a needed step forward.

And under Patrick Graham, the Raiders’ defensive coordinator, opportunities are available for him to rise to the occasion.

Something, that through training camp, he’s already done.

“I really feel like I can play anywhere, but wherever the team and PG [Patrick Graham] want me to go, I’ll go,” Averett said. “I need to be the best version of myself. Whatever version the team wants me to be, I’ll be that. Starter, whatever the case may be. Put me anywhere, I’ll be ready to play.”

Averett may be new to Las Vegas, but he’s already embodied the team’s defensive principles. In 2022, he’s looking to use the experience he garnered last season to take a star’s step forward.

Feature image via Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports