It appears that the Las Vegas Raiders’ 2021 fourth-round selection, Tyree Gillespie, will be making his presence known on special teams.
The Raiders’ 2021 rookie class will be under lots of observation (and scrutiny) given the organization’s recent draft history. We all know the draft is anything but a perfect science but the team simply hasn’t done its best work in April. One thing that was certain during this year’s player selection meeting was that Las Vegas needed defensive backs. Among them was Gillespie, who by way of Missouri, will be looking to make an impact wherever he can.
The Raiders are excited about Gillespie’s potential
Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently stated that the Silver and Black are excited to see what Gillespie can do once the pads come on.
“Both behind the scenes and out front, the Raiders have expressed excitement about Gillespie, the rookie fourth-round pick out of Missouri. They are anxious to see him in pads, as there is an expectation he will show up when the physicality gets elevated.”
Once training camp begins, we’ll all get a better picture of what Gillespie can bring to the table. Currently, he’s just another player battling for a roster spot, maybe he can take Dallin Leavitt’s place? Best-case scenario, he’s an improvement over what the Raiders have fielded recently. The defensive backfield has been arguably the biggest defensive weakness these past three years. As Bonsignore alluded to, the Raiders will likely give all current safeties a chance to compete during camp.
Even on special teams, Gillespie can certainly make his presence known. He displayed his tackling abilities at Missouri along with keen awareness, not to mention he has notable speed. To say he can replace Johnathan Abram if ’24’ struggles again would be a stretch. That notwithstanding, Gillespie certainly showed he can man the post in college. This is a position we’ll have to keep an eye on once camp commences.
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*Top Photo: Eric Blum/Tribune