The Las Vegas Raiders and general manager Mike Mayock have garnered plenty of heat for recent draft classes. However, the 2021 draft class could end up saving his job and the Raiders season. Even with the struggles of first-round offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood the Raiders 2021 rookie class is thriving and making the future optimistic for the franchise. With safety Trevon Moehrig, slot corner Nate Hobbs and linebacker Divine Deablo there is plenty to be optimistic about. Here is a breakdown of the 2021 drat class as a whole.
The Rookies of the Las Vegas Raiders 2021 Class are Thriving
The Best Pick
The Raiders hit a home run with the selection of TCU safety Trevon Moehrig in round two of the NFL draft. Many thought he should have been the first-round selection, with that said the Raiders were lucky enough to land the rising star in round two. Moehrig has been a breath of fresh air for a franchise that has lacked depth in the secondary for years, he’s solidified the back end of the defense.
Moehrig has taken 100 percent of the defensive snaps this season allowing only 13 receptions. The only knock on Moehrig in 2021 has been his lack of turnovers, he has had two brutal dropped interceptions. However, he is a rookie that is in the right spot most of the time, the interceptions will come.
The Highest Ceiling Pick
Linebacker Divine Deablo has seen an uptick in playing time the last five weeks. Coincidentally, the Raiders defense has had a very good stretch of football since Deablo has seen playing time. In those five games, Deablo has three games with 9 or more tackles and has surpassed veteran Corey Littleton on the depth chart. Deablo is producing now, but his ceiling is very high.
Deablo was a strong safety at Virginia Tech and is making the switch to linebacker with the Raiders. He is a new-school type of football player, undersized slightly for the position but can cover and tackle well. The Raiders have to be very happy with the development of their 2021 third-round pick.
The Worst Pick
The Raiders got plenty of criticism for the pick of Alex Leatherwood to step in at right tackle, and it’s only been magnified as of late. Leatherwood has switched to guard already and has continued to struggle. Leatherwood has 11 penalties on the season, which is something the Raiders hope he can grow out of. It’s the mental mistakes that are killing Leatherwood, with bad positioning and penalties often killing Raiders drives.
He’s responsible for 4 sacks on the season, but has given up immense pressure and not been as dominant in the run game as advertised. While it’s been semi disappointing, the Raiders switched his position early and he has improved. Leatherwood is young and has the traits to grow into an NFL role.
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