2021 NFL Draft Grade: Las Vegas Raiders
Round 1 Pick 17: OT Alex Leatherwood
Round 2 Pick 43: S Trevon Moehrig
Round 3 Pick 79: LB Malcolm Koonce
Round 3 Pick 80: S Divine Deablo
Round 4 Pick 143: S Tyree Gillespie
Round 5 Pick 167: CB Nate Hobbs
Round 7 Pick 230: C Jimmy Morrissey
The Raiders were about as hot and cold as it gets in this draft. First off, they get an F for the first round. Christian Darrisaw, Teven Jenkins, and others were still on the board at No. 17, and instead they decided to take Alex Leatherwood. He’s a decent tackle as Kirby O’Connor alluded to in his first round grade, but he was not worthy of a first round selection and certainly wasn’t the best available. It was, as Kirby says, a reach and a half.
However, they get an A+ for their second round selection of Trevon Moehrig. Moehrig is a first round talent and the best safety in the class. The fact that he fell to 43 is astounding. He has all the traits you want from the position: size, speed, and a hard-hitting competitiveness. Jon Gruden is going to love having Moehrig on his defense.
While Moehrig was a great pick, it is very interesting that Las Vegas chose to take not one, not two, but three other defensive backs. Two of them are safeties as well that will be competing with Moehrig. Besides having the best name in this class, Divine Deablo is a talented player. He is basically the lesser version of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah as a linebacker/safety hybrid. If the Raiders choose to use both Moehrig and Deablo at safety, there may be some initial growing pains, but they will be a fearsome duo in the coming years.
It’s very clear that explosive athletes from the defensive side of the ball was an emphasis in this draft. Outside of their dynamic safety duo, linebacker Malcolm Koonce is the greatest example of this. He is undersized as a pass rushing linebacker, but he brings ferocity and speed of the line to make up for it. If Koonce can refine a few of his coverage skills as well as his pass rushing technique, he could become a suitable linebacker.
Everyone will focus on the strange Alex Leatherwood pick with this Raiders draft, and it will be warranted if Derek Carr does not have suitable protection. However, there are defensive players here with a ton of potential. 2021 may not be a great year for all of them, but this is a dangeround team down the road.