The 2021 NFL Draft is nearly upon us and one thing’s for sure, no one has a clue of what the Las Vegas Raiders will do with the picks they’ve accumulated. Head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock have previously done the expected — Henry Ruggs III. On the other hand, they have also pulled some questionable moves (Clelin Ferrell and Damon Arnette). The truth of the matter is that ‘bold’ may actually be tame when it comes to the Silver and Black. It doesn’t matter though, let’s have some fun.
Three bold predictions for the Raiders on draft night
1) Raiders take Jaelan Phillips with pick 17
Right tackle is a clear and present need for Las Vegas. Fortunately for Tom “Punch-Out” Cable, the draft has a variety of options to fill that void. Don’t be surprised to see Mayock dip into a shallow pool of talent in hopes of rectifying a previous error. Jaelen Phillips is arguably the best pass rusher in the class and could slide all the way to pick 17.
The team’s brass knows getting how key getting to the quarterback will be in a division that includes Justin Herbert and *checks notes* some guy named Pat. Will Las Vegas look past slightly troubling medicals and focus on the high ceiling of the Miami standout?
2) The Raiders trade back into the first round to select Caleb Farley
Did someone say questionable medicals?! Caleb Farley is in the running for the best cornerback in the draft class. Unfortunately, numerous back injuries have made the thought of spending an early first-round pick on the Virginia Tech product a non-starter. In fact, current reports state Farley may even slip out of Day 1 altogether.
Enter the Raiders and their extra third-rounder. If Las Vegas’ brass feels like the medicals check out, Mayock will happily snag Farley to go along with the previously selected Phillips (in this exercise anyway).
3) Raiders roll the dice on Julio Jones
Considering who the coach of the Las Vegas Raiders is, some may not consider this very bold. The Atlanta Falcons have let it be known that All-Everything wide receiver Julio Jones is on the market for the right price. The $15 million still owed to Jones and his checkered injury history should make whatever deal presented a relatively affordable one. Vegas is face to face with the cap and should covet the draft capital they have, using said picks to fortify the offensive line and add much-needed depth to the defense.
However, Jon Gruden is still the coach of the Raiders. Can he truly resist the possibility of Julio taking the field alongside Ruggs, Darren Waller, and Josh Jacobs?
Perhaps it would be more shocking if the Raiders made no offer at all.
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