Coming off a rookie year that showed some promise, Las Vegas Raiders defender Divine Deablo is ready to turn heads in 2022. In fact, Bleacher Report believes that he’s the team’s best-kept secret this season.
Originally a safety during his days with Virginia Tech, Deablo was chosen in the third round by the Raiders last year. He didn’t start seeing snaps on a consistent basis until Week 12 versus the Washington Football Team. Prior to that, Deablo had made some plays against the Miami Dolphins in Week 3, recording a solo tackle in the process. However, once he began seeing the field, Deablo made his presence known, accumulating 26 solo tackles in those final games. While he didn’t post the flashiest stats, Deablo still has tons of potential going into this season.
Gary Davenport named a player going under the radar for each of the NFL teams. For the Raiders, Deablo received the nod. Davenport mentions that the transition to a new position in the pros likely slowed his rookie progression. Nevertheless, once the smoke settled, Deablo had taken over the starting role from the disappointing Cory Littleton. Alongside Denzel Perryman this year, Deablo will likely get plenty of snaps as training camp begins next week.
Davenport did make note that while there are high expectations for Deablo, Jayon Brown will give him a run for his money during camp. That’s definitely a position worth monitoring this month.
The Raiders knew what they were getting in Divine Deablo
If you look back to his pre-draft scouting reports, Deablo was noted as a physical hitter above all else. It’s a quality that this new defensive staff under Patrick Graham is hoping he’ll deliver on. Graham is known as a play caller who puts his players in the best positions to succeed. In other words, he doesn’t force players into playing a scheme. That’s something that will benefit Deablo. The hybrid defender excels when he plays close to the line of scramble, so we can only assume Graham will make the most of Deablo’s strengths. He’s a true downhill runner who will help shut down running lanes, something that the Raiders will desperately need in 2022.
*Top Photo: Divine Deablo’s Twitter @DeabloDivine