Las Vegas Raiders still need to fix a few holes after adding a few players in free agency. However, they can address most of them in the 2021 NFL Draft. Pro Football Focus expects them to take care of most needs, with one glaring exception.
Seth Galina of PFF projects in a recent mock draft that the Raiders will use their first two round selections on offensive players and the next two on defense. Nevertheless not of them on a safety, which is one of their most pressing needs and one that they haven’t address this offseason. He sees Las Vegas using the 17th overall pick on Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater and the 48th overall on North Carolina wide receiver Dyami Brown. Both selections make sense, as the team needs to fill the void Trent Brown left at right tackle and they don’t currently have a clear-cut number-one wide receiver on the roster.
On the other hand, Galina predicts the Raiders won’t neglect their defense and will add cornerbacks Tay Gowan and Thomas Graham Jr. with back-to-back picks in the third round. Las Vegas has invested a few draft selections on cornerback talent but Trayvon Mullen is the only one that stands out. It’s too early to give up on 2020 first-round pick Damon Arnette. However, the team needs to err on the side of caution and have some kind of insurance. Then, there’s Isaiah Johnson, who has shown flashes but hasn’t been able to produce on a consistent basis. Thus, adding a couple of cornerbacks in the draft makes sense for the Raiders.
The Raiders can’t forget about the safety position
Galina’s mock draft is solid but forgets to address the Raiders’ need for a safety. They must find someone to line up next to Johnathan Abram. They failed to add one in free agency and still need one. In fact, they don’t even have to draft one in the first round. They could still take Slater and Brown in the first two rounds and add someone like UFC’s Richie Grant — Towan’s teammate — in the third. There’s also a chance safety prospect Andre Cisco is still on the board in the third round. If the Syracuse standout is available, Las Vegas could draft him or Grant instead of Graham.
Adding cornerback talent in the draft makes sense. Also, the Raiders need to find a good right tackle and another offensive weapon. This PFF mock covers most of Las Vegas’ draft needs but safety. The Silver and Black can’t afford to do that in the selection meeting. They need to find a playmaker to guard their back end.
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