The Las Vegas Raiders desperately need a right tackle going into the 2021 NFL season. However, the team could’ve had themselves a cornerstone player in last year’s players selection meeting.
Predicting how NFL players will turn out is nowhere close to an exact science, not to mention, it’s easy for us to step back and say ‘X’ would’ve been a fit. However, in this case, the Raiders whiffed badly, as they could’ve selected Tristan Wirfs in last year’s NFL draft. Perhaps, choosing Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw might make amends for the organization foregoing a tackle last April.
Look, the decision to draft Henry Ruggs III was done based on the fact the Raiders needed a wide receiver. The Antonio Brown debacle and injuries to Tyrell Williams in 2019 meant the team lacked anything resembling a number one receiver. At that time, the general consensus was that Las Vegas was going to take a receiver with their first of two first-round choices. Whether it’d be Ruggs or CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy. As far as Wirfs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers chose him with the 13th pick. The former Iowa Hawkeye allowed just one sack per Pro Football Focus and posted an impressive 81.0 pass-blocking grade.
Raiders should strongly consider Darrisaw and not repeat last year’s mistake
Another reason that the team surely passed on Wirfs was that Trent Brown was still a Raider. Nobody could’ve foreseen the injuries and debacle that would be Brown’s 2020 campaign. If they had, Wirfs might’ve been the pick, which is even more so when you consider how deep the wide receiver class was last year. This draft is a different story, despite being a strong class as far as tackles, Darrisaw’s an elite prospect among them. Per PFF, Darrisaw made huge strides in all facets of his game, going from an 80.3 to 95.6 overall grade over the past two seasons.
In their most recent mock draft, PFF has the Silver and Black picking up Darrisaw at number 17. They justify the pick due to his overwhelmingly positive grades for 2020.
The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder was one of just two offensive linemen in the FBS to earn 90-plus PFF grades as both a run-blocker (94.5) and pass-blocker (90.8) in 2020.
After reconstructing most of their offensive line, the Raiders need to play it safe and go with Darrisaw. Reaching on a defensive lineman or even safety in the first round could be disastrous considering the current hole at the right tackle. It’ll be interesting to see how the Raiders’ brass plays the first round this year.
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*Top Photo: Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
2 thoughts on “Raiders Drafting Christian Darrisaw Could Make Up For Last Year’s Mistake”
Mario, all of the article you write are pretty good but you fumbled the bag on this one. This article was reminiscent of what Carlos Sanchez puts out on Raider Ramble. Please don’t start writing articles like him. I know you’re better than that.
Who would have guessed the Raiders would need to draft a tackle? Anyone who paid attentions to Brown’s career, where even before last year he had missed about half the games in his career. You always take the franchise tackle if they fall to you, especially if you are already paying the oft-injured, highest-priced tackle in the league. Not only did the Raiders screw up in not picking the BPA (Wirfs) that had fallen to them, but then they took the worst of the top-tier receivers, and took the one who had never been better than the third best receiver on his college team (really stupid). The last draft was perhaps the worst draft the Raiders have ever had, and the one before that ended up decent only because Hurst luckily fell to them because of health concerns, Renfrow is a good slot, and Ferrell is one of the better DE’s in the league. And of those, only Renfrow was a “good” pick. Ferrell has somewhat underperformed his draft position, while Hurst was a gamble that could have easily backfired had doctors declared his career over before it started.