Tanner Muse

Tanner Muse: More Than Meets The Eye

Rounds two and three of 2020 NFL draft are now finished. The Las Vegas Raiders managed to complete a trade that sent selection No.91 to the New England Patriots in return for No.100 and an additional fourth rounder this year. With the newly acquired pick, the Silver and Black decided to acquire a stalwart hybrid defender in Clemson’s Tanner Muse.

Tanner Muse, LB

Age: 23 (Will turn 24 when the regular season starts)
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 230 lbs.

The Raiders just can’t help themselves when it comes to acquiring talent from Clemson University. Last night, they drafted linebacker Tanner Muse from the five consecutive year ACC Conference champions with their final third round selection. Muse follows a trail blazed by three former teammates that were also selected by Las Vegas front office in 2019’s draft.

  • Clelin Ferrell – 4th overall selection
  • Trayvon Mullen – 40th overall selection
  • Hunter Renfrow – 149th overall selection

The Raiders have made an emphatic point that Dabo Swinney’s football program is a breeding ground for the essence of the culture that they are implementing in Las Vegas. Tanner will undoubtedly aspire to be another foundational piece that the team looks forward to keeping building around based upon his character and quality football play.

Strengths

  • The first quality of Muse’s play style that is evident on every snap is his relentless effort.

  • When in pass coverage, Muse found himself in the right position to make a play more often than not. In 2019, he led the team in interceptions (4) from his predominant box safety role in defensive coordinator’s Brent Venables hybrid scheme.

  • Another positive trait he possesses is his tenacity as a blitzer and ability to win against opposing offensive linemen in both the run and pass game.

  • In the open field, Tanner ensures that his presence is felt by opposing ball carriers when given the opportunity. His toughness and sound tackling make for unpleasant collisions for offensive players, regardless of their physical stature. Even with his physical play style, he managed to never miss one game (59 games played/39 started) in his four year collegiate career.

  • While many praise him for his high motor, the Belmont, North Carolina native also proves to be serviceable in pass coverage.

  • As a late third round selection, he will be receiving the majority of his playing time on special teams. For him, he should not find much difficulty carrying over his collegiate success to the NFL level in that regard.

Weaknesses

  • Unfortunately, Muse is not the most athletic defender. Tasking him to defend talented slot receivers with no help, could create ill favored mismatches like the one seen below.

https://twitter.com/_SteveFrederick/status/1082449982794416128

In Review

The Las Vegas Raiders acquired a player in the third round who has the potential to become a core player sooner rather than later. He will initially be a special teamer with occasional defensive reps, but he will have to learn two key linebacker positions before he sees significant reps at the position.

The Silver and Black acquired another Tiger who is apart of the nucleus of the culture change that the team hopes pushes them from .500 football to legitimate contenders. A linebacker group once in complete disarray a year ago, has received a complete transformation in the span of one offseason. The front seven has improved, and the remaining rounds of the draft may yield yet more solidification of the defense.

Related: AFC West Grades After First Round

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Top Photo by Christian Peterson/ Getty Images

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