We’re back at it with our Las Vegas Raiders NFL Draft This or That series and we’ll have our first repeat draft option of the series. How about a little Pac 12 after dark action to solve the Raiders' right tackle problem between Washington State’s Abraham Lucas and Arizona State’s Kellen Diesch.
In this situation, you’re voting for Lucas to be the 86th overall pick, or opt for a different position in the third round and take Diesch in the fourth with the 126th pick. This should be an interesting one as both players have very similar profiles as good athletes who are better as pass protectors than run blockers.
For those curious, Haskell Garrett won our last competition with about 55 percent of the vote.
NFL Mock Draft Database consensus big board rank: 86th overall, 3rd round
Lucas was a four-year starter in Washington State’s Air Raid offense, so he has just about seen it all in pass protection. With his combination of experience and athleticism, he should have little to no problems securing the edge as a pass blocker. However, he leaves something to be desired as a run blocker and the scheme he’s been playing in won’t translate well to the NFL from that standpoint.
If the Raiders are looking for a starting right tackle in the draft with their current slate of picks, Lucas is probably their safest bet. He has arguably the best resume and profile of any offensive lineman that will be available in the mid-rounds, and it helps that he won’t have to flip sides of the center having played all of his college snaps at right tackle. Drafting the former Cougar right away would put an end to Las Vegas’ long offseason search for an offensive lineman and allow them to focus on the other side of the ball.
With his struggles and question marks as a run blocker, there’s no guarantee Lucas will be able to beat out Brandon Parker for the starting spot. While the former is better in pass protection, the latter is superior in the ground game so the team could risk spending their lone top-100 pick on a player who ends up riding the bench. With that in mind, it might be better to go with a best player available strategy with the Raiders’ first pick and then attack needs on Day 3.
NMDD rank: 128th overall, 4th round
Diesch might be the most athletic offensive tackle in this entire draft class. He posted a 9.75 RAS score at the NFL Combine and that athleticism shows up on tape, especially in pass protection. The problem is he lacks the ideal size and strength for an NFL tackle and will be a 25-year-old rookie.
With a similar profile to Lucas, Diesch is more than capable of winning the starting right tackle job in training camp as well. Plus, if the Raiders are going with the “bet on athletes” strategy, the former Sun Devil is the way to go. He also has a better track record of success as a run blocker and played in an offense that will be a smoother transition to the next level.
Diesch began his college career at Texas A&M but couldn’t win a starting job, so he transferred and didn’t receive a significant amount of playing time until his fifth and sixth years of college. That plus his age is concerning because basically, he’ll be an old rookie with a lower ceiling but won’t have the experience to go along with it. Also, the Arizona State product will have to make the switch from the left side of the line to the right, which won’t be easy and could lead to some early struggles.
Other options at 126: Dominque Robinson, EDGE, Miami Ohio (126th overall), Akayleb Evans, CB, Missouri (130th), Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa St (132nd)
The choice is yours! Sound off in the comments section about the rationale behind your vote.
Who are you drafting?
This poll is closed
Abraham Lucas, 86th overall (3rd round)
Kellen Diesch, 126th overall (4th round)