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Raiders selection of Trevon Moehrig eases the pain of Thursday night

Las Vegas gets a top safety in second round ... phew!

SMU v TCU
Trevon Moehrig
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Feeling better?

You should.

After taking Alabama tackle Alex Leatherwood in the first round, the franchise was universally and understandably bashed. Leatherwood was not considered to be a first-round pick.

But the Raiders came back strong Friday by aggressively trading up to take advantage of a falling Trevon Moehrig. The Raiders nabbed the TCU safety at No. 43 after sending No. 48 and No. 121 in the fourth round to the San Francisco 49ers (Jon Gruden made a trade with his former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ safety John Lynch) for No. 43 and a seventh-round pick, No. 230.

It was a tremendous move by the Raiders.

Moehrig was widely considered the best safety on the draft board and no one would have complained if he was the choice at No. 17.

Yet, Moehrig kept falling and he was the third safety taken behind Oregon’s Jevon Holland (No. 36 to the Miami Dolphins) and Central Florida’s Richie Grant (No. 40 to the Atlanta Falcons).

Once Grant (who was often connected to the Raiders at No. 48) was drafted, the Raiders started working the trade lines. They could not allow Moehrig to be taken before them. In the end, the price to move up five spots was not bad at all.

Why did Moehrig drop? NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that he had a back injury this offseason and they may be some issues. But clearly the Raiders thought he was worth any injury risk at No. 43. Moehrig told reporters on Friday night his back is not an issue.

If healthy (and he should be in the long term), Moehrig can be a key member of the Las Vegas defense. He is a strong fit for the system of new Raiders’ defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. He will start along side third-year player, and 2019 first-round pick, Johnathan Abram, who play strong safety.

This is a great start to Day Two for the Raiders and they still have picks No. 79 and No. 80.