The Las Vegas Raiders could be in a tough spot once the NFL draft’s first round arrives on April 29th due to the number of needs they have to address. Luckily for them, they might able to find a long-term solution at tackle once the dust settles on the first round.
The Raiders could end up taking Christian Darrisaw or Teven Jenkins with the 17th overall selection but they don’t have to. There’s a chance that a premier pass rusher or highly rated cornerback will be available when it’s their turn.
Continuing to add more pieces to their lackluster defense should be the priority for Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock. Stanford’s Walker Little could be available in the second or even third round. That should afford the team’s brass some flexibility.
Should the Raiders gamble on Little?
Little is one of the more intriguing tackle prospects in a class that features a vast amount of talent. Naysayers will point to the obvious fact he has only played 72 snaps over the last two years. While that’s a fair point, LIttle’s potential upside could be a steal in the mid-rounds, even in the second round. Another knock will be his run blocking, which Oliver Hodgkinson of the Pro Football Network says is Little’s biggest weakness. Also, he played left tackle in college, but he could easily make the transition to the right side.
Little’s size at six-foot-seven and 320 pounds combined with his athleticism are good foundations for any NFL tackle. Unfortunately, his 2019 season was cut short in the opening week by a knee injury. Nevertheless, you can see he has the physical frame to anchor an offensive line and allowed only three sacks in his lone full season.
While the upside’s surely there, if the Raiders take Little, it will be a high-risk high-reward deal. It’s certainly an affordable gamble after the first round. Oh, and let’s not forget he’ll be under the tutelage of offensive line coach Tom Cable. We’ve seen the job he’s done with Kolton Miller over the past three years. So there’s no reason to think he’d be up to the task with Little.
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*Top Photo: David Madison/Getty Images