Taking a cornerback in the first round of this month’s NFL draft could make Las Vegas Raiders fans punch their television sets. However, this is the Silver and Black we’re talking about, how could you pass up a talent like Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley?
If the Raiders land Farley with the 17th pick and pick up a potential starting right tackle in the second round, that’s a win-win. Trayvon Mullen’s proving to be a solid NFL cornerback these past two years and will continue to develop. Bringing on Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator along with Ron Milus as defensive backs coach will benefit Mullen. After ’27’ there’s a bit of a drop-off at cornerback, Isaiah Johnson’s shown a few flashes but isn’t a starter yet. Damon Arnette, last year’s second first-round choice, didn’t exactly live up to expectations in 2020.
Addressing the defensive backfield’s a top priority but so is landing a starting tackle in this draft. The initial waves of the free agency period have come and gone but the Raiders opted not to make a move in regards to the position. Luckily for Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock, the team’s brass will be able to land a tackle in the second round.
Raiders Two Round Mock Scenario
17. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
We all know Raider Nation is vehemently opposed to a cornerback in the first round. Nevertheless, the Raiders have shown they could care less what their fans think, in the end, Gruden will do as he pleases. If Farley’s available, the Silver and Black might not be able to pass up the opportunity. Yes, there are back concerns surrounding Farley but his upside as an instant starting NFL corner will be tempting.
Originally a high school quarterback, Farley’s raw athleticism and speed naturally made him an ideal cornerback. As Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports pointed out, Farley’s length, coverage awareness, and overall playmaking ability would make him perfect for Cover 3 systems. Bradley could end up doing real damage to opposing passing offenses with Mullen, Arnette, and Farley next year.
48. Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
Replacing Trent Brown won’t be an easy task, at least not from a talent standpoint. Brown wasn’t available all that much in his Raiders stint but when he was on the field, you could see the difference. Notre Dame’s Liam Eichenberg was a starting left tackle with the Fighting Irish but would make the transition to the right side.
Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg didn’t allow a single sack over the last two seasons
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 12, 2021
The six-foot-six, 302-pound behemoth was solid in pass blocking while excelling in run blocking. Per Pro Football Focus, Eichenberg was graded 89.9 overall for 2020 based on 833 snaps played. As a side note, he was graded 90.1 in run blocking, an area where the Raiders regressed last year. Picking up Christian Darrisaw or Teven Jenkins is becoming the popular consensus for Raiders fans. Unfortunately with the Silver and Black, you just never know.
You May Also Like: Raiders Drafting Christian Darrisaw Could Make Up For Last Year’s Mistake
*Top Photo: Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images