TDN Projects Raiders Going Linebacker in the 1st Round

The Las Vegas Raiders’ defense has been a liability in 2020, nobody will argue that. Although they have some building blocks in place, the unit would surely welcome an infusion of talent. The 2021 NFL Draft will offer some enticing prospects that could solidify the Silver and Black’s defense. Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah will be one of them.

The Raiders need to add as much talent as they can on defense

In his latest Mock Draft, Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network projects the Raiders to take Owusu-Koramoah with the 16th overall selection. He points out that even though they signed Cory Littleton this past offseason their linebacker woes continue. He cites the 6-foot-1 standout’s pass-rushing skills and ‘attack-oriented’ nature as reasons why they should pull the trigger on him.

All in all, Owusu-Koramoah has suited up for 24 games for the Fighting Irish. He logged 136 total tackles, 24.5 of them for a loss, seven sacks, and five forced fumbles. The 2020 Dick Butkus Award winner also an asset in pass coverage and registered seven passes defensed and one interception. Moreover, he has a superb 79.9 Pro Football Focus overall grade and has earned positive marks against the pass and the run.

Related: Las Vegas Raiders Are Still Bad At Drafting

Does drafting Owusu-Koramoah makes sense for this Las Vegas team?

Owusu-Koramoah’s playmaking prowess could surely solidify the Raiders’ linebacker corps. Nevertheless, it may be too early to give up on Littleton. The five-year linebacker didn’t play up to expectations, but that is true for every player that has played under former defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.

While Littleton is responsible for some of his struggles, playing for a new defensive coordinator could help him get back on track. Furthermore, the Raiders have more pressing needs in their secondary and their front four. As good as the 2020 ACC Defensive Player of the Year may be, the team may be better off using the 16th overall on someone else. Then again, it’s too early to tell. He’s set to play in the Rose Bowl and a solid performance against Alabama could make it hard for this Las Vegas team to pass him up.

Related: Here’s A Big-12 Cornerback Prospect Raiders Should Examine

Top Photo: Katie Mayers/University of Notre Dame Athletics

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