The 2021 NFL Draft began last night but unlike previous years, the Las Vegas Raiders only have one first-round pick. However, they will have three picks on Day 2. They have back-to-back selections in the third round, the 79th, and 80th overall selections. Meanwhile, they have the 48th overall pick in the second round. More often than not, the Raiders leave most of us in a state of confusion, will this year be different?
What will the Raiders do come day two? Here are my bold predictions
1) The Raiders make only one pick on Day 2
The Raiders will trade both of their third-round picks for a fifth-rounder and to move up in the second round. Las Vegas has had a few hits but many misses in recent years and that’s concerning. This year, they take a different approach and move up early in the second round. They then take a consensus pick that the fans and pundits agree with. The selection will get favorable reviews and the front office will earn praise for the move.
2) The Raiders get a mobile quarterback at last
The Raiders select Jaime Newman in the third round. As skilled and intriguing as the Wake Forest product is, he’s still raw and more than likely a project. This could be worrisome as Las Vegas doesn’t have a good track record with projects. Nevertheless, they feel they need to keep up pace with the rest of the AFC West and take a chance on the athletic, but project-type player in Newman.
The North Carolina native played three years at Wake Forest. He then transferred to Georgia but opted out of last season. Newman had a solid year in his one full season as a starter, but it wasn’t outstanding. His size could be intriguing at 6’3 235, but his 40-dash time of 4.7 seconds may leave a little to be desired. Nevertheless, the Raiders make their reach and pick him in the third round to the dismay of most.
3) The Raiders go full secondary in the second round
The secondary was a major point of concern last season with inexperience and just completely inexplicable plays that contributed to losses. Then again, there wasn’t a big splash signing for the back end or a move that many would’ve expected from the team in free agency, so the Raiders go all secondary on Day 2.
In the second round, they go with Ifeatu Melifonwu in a reunion of sorts, as Ifeatu’s older brother, Obi, was a former pick of the Raiders. In the third round, they pick two safeties with back-to-back picks to challenge the incumbents already in place. They will go with Hamsah Nasirlideen of Florida state and Andre Cisco of safety from Syracuse.
All these players universally have second and third-round ratings on them so it won’t be a reach on any and with Nasirildeen the height and size is very much something the Raiders could use. The defense is one of the biggest questions the team has and picking these three players on the second day could go a long way in setting that in the right way.
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Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal