Two of the Las Vegas Raiders’ biggest needs heading into the NFL Draft are finding a quarterback of the future and a potential No. 1 cornerback. So, for this edition of This or That, you’ll be deciding between drafting Kentucky quarterback Will Levis and Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon with the seventh overall pick.
Remember to vote for your pick in the poll at the bottom of the page and share your rationale in the comment section.
Career stats (38 games): 64.9% completions, 5,876 yards, 46 TDs, 25 INTs
Case for: In the NFL, not much else matters if you don’t have a good quarterback under center. While Jimmy Garoppolo is a fine stop gap, the Raiders could use someone to lean on for the long haul and Levis has a bunch of traits to suggest he could be that guy. He has a big arm and has already played in a pro-style offense so the learning curve won’t be as steep.
Case against: A lot of Levis’ issues are frustrating given how old he is seeing as he’ll be 24 as a rookie. His accuracy can be all over the place, he has questionable decision-making at times and a bad feel for pressure. Sure, those things can be developed but why does he still have these issues with all of his experience and after playing for two big programs?
Scouting report via Bleacher Report:
Levis has the arm to make all of those NFL throws. He’s got a compact throwing motion that whips the ball out, providing more than enough zip to drill tight-window throws and attack outside the numbers comfortably. Levis’ arm strength also extended to smooth deep throws, especially when set up in the pocket. Mix that together with functional athletic ability as a scrambler, and Levis’ tools are hard to ignore.
Career stats (41 games): 157 total tackles, 11.5 TFL, 5 INTs, 25 PDs
Case for: The Raiders could really use a shutdown corner with ball skills and that’s what Witherspoon is. He has excellent instincts and is a good athlete to quickly break on routes and make plays on the ball. He also had the highest PFF coverage grade (92.5) of any cornerback in the country last season.
Case against: This corner class is deep and Las Vegas could easily get a starting quality player in the second-round while addressing the most important position on the field with a Top 10 pick. Witherspoon has plenty of flaws in his game too, as he can struggle against in-breaking routes, gets grabby when he gets beat and is on the smaller side at 5’11” and 181 pounds. He might not even be the best corner in this class and is a bit of a one-year wonder, never posting a PFF coverage grade above 65 until this past year.
Scouting report via B/R
A smart defender, Witherspoon shows great vision and route recognition. There aren’t many times when he looks to be confused on the field. Devon performs best when he is able to sit in zone coverage and react to the quarterback, allowing him to use his anticipation to jump routes and be in position for huge hits. When covering receivers downfield, he has shown the ability to sink his hips getting in and out of breaks, but he lacks the top-end speed to run with the faster receivers in the league. Also, when playing the pass game, he has the ball skills necessary to get his head around and locate the ball, as well as having the confidence to play the ball with his back to it.
Who would you take with No. 7?
This poll is closed
Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois