2021 NFL mock draft: Las Vegas Raiders add an elite linebacker
By Evan Groat
The Giants continue to build around franchise quarterback Daniel Jones by getting him a viable number one option at wide receiver. The way the roster looks right now there is not a receiving threat that will draw the attention of opposing defensive coordinators.
In 2019, Devonta Smith was overlooked on the Alabama offense by stars Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III, who were first round selections in 2020. Smith might not have their speed, or route running, but he has the best set of hands of the trio, and would be a favorite target of Jones in the Big Apple.
Much like in Cincinnati, now that you have your franchise quarterback in place, it’s time to support him with some weapons on the outside. Rondale Moore is exactly that. A threat to score anytime he touches the ball, Moore is an explosive playmaker.
Moore is undersized at 5-foot-9 inches, but he has elite speed, and we have seen how the league values speed in recent drafts. Miami has built their roster up in a big way this offseason, and in 2021, they put the final pieces in place of what could be a perennial playoff team.
The Detroit Lions could look to address quarterback with this pick, but with the top two options off the board they look to take care of another premium position instead. Alex Leatherwood isn’t as finished of a product as former teammate Jedrick Willis, but he returns to Alabama for his senior season to polish up some of the things before going pro.
He has the skill set to be a very good pro, and Detroit has had their issues along the offensive line in recent years. Matthew Stafford is still a very productive quarterback, but his window is closing, so protecting him has to be priority No. 1.
Gregory Rousseau burst onto the scene as a red shirt freshman at Miami (FL) with 15.5 sacks, 22 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles. This pick feels like a New York Jets pick, as the have valued high selections on the defensive side of the ball in recent years.
Rousseau is far from a finished product, but don’t be surprised to hear his name called in the top-ten with another highly productive year in 2020 for the Hurricanes. The Jets have issues on both sides of the ball, including coming off the edge on defense, so Rousseau makes sense at pick No. 8 overall.