The 2021 NFL Draft is in the books. 259 players now have new homes. Almost assuredly, every team got every player they wanted exactly when they wanted to.
However, we are going to look at them through the prism of the way I thought they did. Did a team reach? Did they get a steal? How did that trade work out? Over the course of the next few weeks, I will recap every team’s draft class. Some will be solely be written word. Some will be accompanied by a video from the Deep Fried Draft YouTube channel with an expert from that team talking about their class.
Today, we look at the Las Vegas Raiders.
RAIDERS DRAFT CLASS
|3||80||S||Divine Deablo||Virginia Tech|
The Raiders were one of the most talked about teams after round one of the draft. Most pundits slammed Las Vegas for taking Alabama OT Alex Leatherwood with the 17th overall pick. I had Leatherwood as the 24th best player in the class, so I wasn’t one of those people. I believe he will be a plug-and-play starter at right tackle immediately. Leatherwood could kick inside and be a Pro Bowl level guard if needed.
Their second-round pick, TCU safety Trevon Moehrig, was my #1 rated safety. He fits a large position of need for Vegas. If he had been selected at pick 17, they probably would have taken less flack.
I love the potential of the Raiders’ third-round pick, Buffalo edge rusher Malcolm Koonce. This is another selection that received unnecessary panning on draft day. An injury prevented Koonce from participating in the Senior Bowl or working out at his pro day. Had he been able to do either, I expect no one would be questioning his selection.
Virginia Tech safety Divine Deablo is a hard-hitting safety who the Raiders are projecting to play WILL linebacker. Deablo will also see significant special team snaps.
They added another safety with Missouri’s Tyree Gillespie. I liked Gillespie a couple of rounds lower than where he was selected. He is another special teams addition that can back up both spots.
Illinois corner Nate Hobbs is a tremendous athlete who can lock up a reserve DB spot.
Pitt center Jimmy Morrissey hopped in his car and drove an hour just to play in the Senior Bowl game. He had been training in Pensacola. Morrissey isn’t flashy with his play but he is a great athlete. I think Morrissey is going to be able to lock up a spot as a reserve interior lineman.
I liked the Raiders UDFA haul. I can make an argument that BYU TE Matt Bushman and West Virginia DL Darius Stills will both find their way on the Raiders 53.
The Raiders signed the following undrafted free agents:
Darius Stills, DT, West Virginia
Garrett Groshek, FB, Wisconsin
Max Richardson, LB, Boston College
Devery Hamilton, DT, Duke
TJ Morrison, DB, Stony Brook
Dillon Stoner, WR, Oklahoma State
Matt Bushman, TE, BYU
Trey Ragas, RB, Louisiana
Next up we will look at the Los Angeles Rams!