While the 2020 NFL regular season is yet to be played, let’s face it, fans love to read mock drafts. For the Las Vegas Raiders, they find themselves in a familiar spot according to ESPN’s Todd McShay.
Raiders general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden have done an excellent job of drafting these past two years. Many holes on offense and defense have been addressed by selecting talented players who also have high character. Considering Gruden dismantled the Silver and Black upon his return, his roster is still evolving. For that reason, it’s not far-fetched to see why McShay has the Raiders picking in the top ten next year.
Right now, Raider Nation’s optimism is at an all-time high as is every NFL fan base. Unfortunately, reality sometimes escapes those who remain blind in their fandom and loyalty. Considering how tough the AFC West is and the fact that the Raiders will go as far as Derek Carr takes them, a dreadful finish is possible. If the wheels do fall off this year, you would think the Raiders go with a quarterback in the top ten. In spite of that, McShay has the Raiders adding to their pass rush.
Raiders Pick Gregory Rousseau, DE, University of Miami
Many people believe the Raiders’ defensive line is one of the strengths going into this year. In particular, Maxx Crosby, Clelin Ferrell, and Carl Nassib will be featured by the Silver and Black. Rousseau, according to McShay, will be another weapon that will elevate the pass rush even further in 2021.
“Oregon safety Jevon Holland could help correct a weakness, but he might be a bit of a reach in the top 10. So the Raiders look to the edge rushers — a group that is lacking a bit this year — to find another weapon alongside Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby. While it was an improvement from the 13 they posted in 2018, the Raiders still managed just 32 sacks in 2019, tied for No. 24 in the NFL. You can’t have that when you deal with Patrick Mahomes twice a year.”
Rousseau is a physical specimen at 6-foot-7 and weighing at 253 pounds. His 2019 statistics at Miami were 34 solo tackles, 19.5 of those tackles were for a loss, and 15.5 sacks. On top of that, Rousseau totaled two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and one pass defensed.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com summed up Rousseau with two words, “consistently dominant.” Obviously, we’re looking way ahead into 2021, let’s not forget, we don’t know how COVID-19 will affect scouting. We’re also assuming there will be a full 2020 NFL season without any sort of issue moving forward. For now, Raider Nation can salivate at what a defensive line with Rousseau could look like.
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*Top Photo: Rick Scuteri/Associated Press