With the 2021 NFL draft in the books, let’s look at some notable aspects of the Las Vegas Raiders’ busy weekend.
The decision to move up to No. 43 and take TCU safety Trevon Moehrig, who unexpectedly fell, was the pinnacle of the Raiders’ draft weekend. Can you imagine what would have happen if the Raiders couldn’t pull of the trade with the San Francisco 49ers (the Jon Gruden-John Lynch connection came through)?
Dallas would have likely tabbed Moehrig and the Raiders would have been left out in the cold on the top safeties. This move needed to happen and it did. Kudos to Gruden and Raiders’ general manager Mike Mayock for getting it done.
Most interesting pick:
I’m bullish on the pick of Virginia Tech safety/linebacker Divine Deablo at No. 80 overall. He’s big and fast. I see him becoming a starter somewhere on the defense.
Like every other year since Jon Gruden returned to the franchise in 2018, there were reports that the Raiders could take a quarterback. Of course, they didn’t. There were rumors in the first round and chatter in the mid-rounds about Notre Dame’s Ian Book (he ended up with the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round). But, naturally, nothing happened at quarterback. Until next year. Or Aaron Rodgers???
Where’s the Clemson love?
For the first time since Mayock joined the team in 2019, the Raiders didn’t draft a Clemson player. Of course, the Alabama player in the first round continued for the third straight year when the Raiders took tackle Alex Leatherwood at No. 17.
No big opt outs:
The Raiders ended up staying away from players who opted out of the 2020 at the top of the draft. Before the draft, Mayock admitted there were “lively conversations” about players who opted out. It was always my hunch that Gruden didn’t want to touch any of those guys at the top of the draft who opted out.
AFC West went to work:
Surely, the Raiders are pleased with their weekend, but the other three teams in the AFC West seemingly did well. Many scouts think the Los Angles Chargers and Denver Broncos both has extremely strong drafts. Now, it’s time to see what all of these players can bring to the division.
The fun is just starting.