Raiders Mock

Should The Raiders Target Oregon LB Noah Sewell In The 1st Round?

Las Vegas Raiders mock season will soon be upon us. While there’s likely a collective groan among many in Raider Nation, the fact is, these next couple of games could define the season. If the Raiders can’t get past the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints, they’ll be 1-6, effectively ending their playoff hopes. At that point, the conversation shifts to them having a top three pick. However, in Pro Football Network’s most recent mock scenario, they have the Raiders slated to select in the middle of the pack, 15th overall. If that’s the case, should general manager Dave Ziegler strongly consider taking a linebacker in the first round?

Joe Broback, the author of PFN’s latest first round mock draft, might not be familiar with the Raiders’ draft history. For years, they’ve refused to draft a linebacker in the first round. This is especially true for traditional inside linebackers, most notably Rolando McClain. However, the Raiders are under a new regime, one that holds no ties to previous regimes and ways of doing things. Ziegler has shown he’s going to do his way and if the glaring weakness at linebacker warrants a first-round pick, he’ll do it. Just like he was cognizant of the need for a wide receiver, he was willing to ship off both a first and second rounder for Davante Adams.

Raiders Mock: Noah Sewell, Oregon, LB

As far as Noah Sewell goes, he checks off the boxes. As Broback mentions, Sewell will have plenty of eyes on him in the Oregon Ducks’ upcoming matchup with UCLA.

“Noah Sewell was born to play football, plain and simple. He gets a chance to shine in the spotlight when the Ducks host undefeated UCLA this weekend, and the Ducks linebacker should play a major role in the outcome. Bruins head coach Chip Kelly must get his team to understand the importance of identifying Sewell each play. If you forget about him, he’ll make you play. His motor only has one speed, and it’s tough to slow him down once the play starts.”

If you watch some of Sewell’s film even from last season, you can see he has first round written all over. At six-foot-three and 251 pounds, Sewell has the physical tools to be an NFL linebacker. He isn’t the fastest but what he does possess is the ability to dominate in the box with sheer physicality, an old-school approach to the linebacker position. For the Raiders, they need someone who can cover and keep up with the likes of Travis Kelce. With Sewell, the Silver and Black would have exactly that. His awareness while in coverage combined with his high football IQ makes him a dangerous defensive threat for opposing quarterbacks.

What else can Sewell do?

The Oregon product will also contribute on run defense out of the gate. This is where his physical tools come in again. Sewell’s length and noteworthy hands allow him to easily shed blockers, and he’ll make jumpy and overaggressive linemen pay by bending and dipping under them. Another aspect of Sewell’s game is in the pass rushing department. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will love his ability to blitz. He can be lethal down the middle once he gets his feet going, just like a bus heading for you. That’s what quarterbacks are going to see. Depending on the matchups with offensive tackles on the edge, Sewell can also bull rush smaller linemen if need be. He’s certainly a name to keep in mind once Raiders mock season is underway.

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*Top Photo: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

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