The Las Vegas Raiders will keep reshaping and stacking their defensive and offensive lines in the 2021 NFL Draft according to the latest mock draft by Pro Football Focus.
Recognizing that a lack of overall pressure from their front four derailed their 2020 season, the Raiders’ brain trust sprung into action. While the team’s defensive backs greatly struggled, it all starts in the trenches. By now, we all know Las Vegas only accumulated 21 sacks as a team, and this obviously won’t get it done in 2021.
Making a splash signing by acquiring Yannick Ngakoue is a step in the right direction but injecting some youth wouldn’t hurt. By the same token, the offensive line is also going through major changes. Center Rodney Hudson, the long-time offensive anchor, is gone and so is guard Gabe Jackson. Richie Incognito and Denzelle Good are back but infusing another talented offensive lineman will help this squad, long-term.
No. 79 Deonte Brown, Guard, Alabama
No. 80 Tyler Shelvin, Defensive Tackle, LSU
In a recent mock draft, PFF proposes that the Raiders take Deonte Brown, the interior offensive lineman from Alabama, and Tyler Shelvin, the nose tackle from LSU. Two pickups of this caliber in the third round would help plug two of the final holes on this roster.
The Raiders could plug two major holes in the third round
PFF’s scenario is actually interesting though not that ideal, considering the two previous rounds leave a lot to be desired. Taking a linebacker (Micah Parsons) in the first doesn’t make sense. This is especially true when you take into account the need for a safety and right tackle. On the other hand, picking up Alex Leatherwood in the second round would be a steal for the Raiders. Regardless, Brown would be a nice addition, he’s one of the better pass-blocking prospects in this draft. PFF gave him a 77.2 grade in that department based on 829 snaps played in Alabama’s offensive line.
Shelvin didn’t play this past year, preferring to opt-out, nonetheless, he’s an imposing force. Standing at 6’3″ and weighing 346 pounds, Shelvin could do some damage lined up with Ngakoue, Maxx Crosby, and Clelin Ferrell. In 2019, Shelvin played in 13 games and totaled 39 tackles, two passes defensed, and three tackles for a loss. Joe Marino of The Draft Network is very high on Shelvin’s prospects as a run stuffer, stating that ‘he knows how to fit his hands, find the football, disengage, and finish.’ This of course, on top of his sheer size and strength, regardless, the Raiders would be helping themselves tremendously with both Shelvin and Brown come April.
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*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal