Raiders Need To Stay Away From DT Ross Blacklock At 19

Assuming the Las Vegas Raiders stay put at number 19 in the 2020 NFL Draft, it would be in their best interest to stay away from a defensive tackle.

General manager Mike Mayock did a great job this free agency period in regard to the Raiders defense. Going into the draft, the most improved unit could be their defensive line, arguably of course. Maliek Collins and Carl Nassib will be joining an impressive core that currently features Maxx Crosby, Clelin Ferrell, and Maurice Hurst Jr. Of course, it can never hurt to have too much good depth on the line, but not at the expense of the Raiders’ biggest needs. Charles Davis of NFL Media recently had the Silver and Black going with Ross Blacklock from TCU at number 19, not an optimal use of that pick if it becomes a reality.

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As far as the Raiders potentially selecting Blacklock, Davis said the following: “possessing a nice combination of aggressiveness, quickness, and big plays upfield, Blacklock’s overall makeup fits the type of player Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden covet.” Here’s the thing, the synopsis of Davis’s observation’s accurate, the combination of those strengths would indeed be welcomed by Raiders brass. After all, Blacklock finished with 40 tackles and three and a half sacks for TCU, his prowess was on full display in 2019.

Red Flags for the Raiders

On the other hand, the major hole at wide receiver should be concerning enough for the Raiders to pass on Blacklock. Rather, they should trust Marinelli’s coaching and let him work with this offseason’s additions before investing high in a risky position. If that need isn’t enough, then Blacklock’s red flags should raise doubt about the possible pick. The most concerning are his processing of plays, his pad level, and technique as pointed out by The Draft Network.

The conundrum if Blacklock is available, his weaknesses, can be fixed with coaching and patience. The same goes for his aforementioned technique, but also the fact he can be neutralized by double teams due to his pad level as highlighted by the Draft Network as well.

The temptation will be there if this scenario plays out but the Raiders must remain true to their needs, they need a starting corner or perhaps, double-dip at wide receiver. A defensive tackle will not save Gruden’s offense from another year of falling flat.

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