Oklahoma’s Tre Norwood would be an excellent upgrade at safety for the Las Vegas Raiders at April’s NFL draft.
The Silver and Black continued to suffer from shortcomings at the safety position in 2020. Johnathan Abram is a fiery and spirited player that can deliver punishing tackles, but he’s also limited. Substandard pass coverage continues to haunt ’24’ as he played his first full season after missing his rookie year. Neither Erik Harris, Daryl Worley, or Dallin Leavitt are long-term answers nor should they be. The Raiders could boost their secondary by signing an upper-echelon safety such as Justin Simmons. However, in a year with a lower salary cap, it might not be feasible. This is where Norwood comes in via the draft in April and provides an instant spark.
What can Norwood bring to the Raiders?
The six-foot, 194-pound safety had an excellent college career for the Oklahoma Sooners. Fans might discount a player’s college production but for Norwood, it shows absolute dominance. In three seasons, he accrued 75 solo tackles, two tackles for a loss, six interceptions, and 14 passes defensed. Now that Norwood has declared for the draft, Raiders brass should do their due diligence and take a look at the former Sooner.
Pro Football Focus broke down Norwood’s 2020 season, he played 177 snaps in the slot, 33 wide on the outside, 81 at free safety, and 182 overall in the box. Norwood’s PFF grade of 87.6 for his coverage skills clearly shows that’s his strongest attribute. He’s got the legs, length, and speed to keep up with the best as you can see in his film and his hands are always in a position to pick off a pass. Even if Raider Nation isn’t high on their team selecting a safety, Norwood could be worth a look.
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*Top Photo: Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman