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NFL 2021 draft: 6 potential sweet spots for the Raiders

A look at which picks ahead of No. 17 that could affect Las Vegas

Virginia Tech v Florida State
Christian Darrisaw
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

While the Las Vegas Raiders don’t select until the No. 17 pick on Thursday night in the first round of the draft, the intrigue involving them starts earlier.

Let’s take a look at teams that can pivot the direction of the draft and create ripple affects for the Raiders.

No. 4, Atlanta Falcons:
This pick will be closely watched throughout the league. Whether or not the Falcons take a quarterback, their decision will change the course of the top 20 picks,

Iowa v Northwestern
Rashawn Slater
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

No. 8, Carolina Panthers:
If the Panthers take Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater (who many people think they will), it will start the tackle movement. If not, the Raiders would love to see Slater tumble.

Butler v North Dakota State
Trey Lance
Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

No. 9, Denver Broncos:
The Broncos may take North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance or Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields if they’re still available. This will affect how the next several picks fall. The Raiders will be watching Denver’s pick closely for a lot of reasons.

No. 10, Dallas Cowboys:
There has been talk that the Cowboys could trade down. If the Raiders want to make a move up for a player such as Slater or Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, this could be a spot.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Memphis v Penn State
Micah Parsons
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

No. 11, New York Giants:
I know the Raiders like Micah Parsons a lot but I’d be surprised if he falls past the Giants. If he does, Las Vegas may try to make a move for him.

No. 14, Minnesota Vikings:
A lot of people think the Vikings will take Virginia Tech tackle Christian Darrisaw. If he gets past this spot, the Raiders will have a real chance at him.