2021 NFL Draft: How top-10 trades helped Las Vegas Raiders at No. 17
By Brad Weiss
The Las Vegas Raiders hold the No. 17 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the movement in the top-10 on Friday certainly helped them out.
The Las Vegas Raiders will head into the 2021 NFL Draft with issues on both sides of the ball, but they should be able to address one of their key issues with the No. 17 overall pick. In recent years, the Raiders have struggled to get it right in the first round, as the franchise has really only gotten consistent play from running back Josh Jacobs, and at times Clelin Ferrell, so getting it right in 2021 is crucial.
Also, the Raiders only hold one first-round pick in 2021, a change from the previous two drafts where they had three in 2019, and then two more in 2020.
On Friday, there was a flurry of moves involving the top-10 picks in this year’s draft, as the Miami Dolphins traded out of No. 3, sending that pick to the San Francisco 49ers. Later on in the day, Miami shot back into the top-10, grabbing the No. 6 overall pick from the Philadelphia Eagles, and throwing a huge wrench into many mock drafts.
Raiders needs different than most ahead of them
For the Raiders, even though they were not directly involved in the action, they are going to benefit from all the moves on Friday. Holding pick No. 17, the Raiders have different needs than most of the teams in front of them, and a lot of the elite players at those position groups should be available.
Looking at the tackle spot, where they have to replace Trent Brown, the Raiders could have their pick of a group that includes Christian Darrisaw or Rashawn Slater. Sure, the Los Angeles Chargers could go offensive tackle at pick No. 13, but with that franchise, anything can happen.
Outside of tackle, the Raiders also need help at cornerback (big shocker there), and safety, though the talent pool is a bit thin in terms of first-round talent at safety. At cornerback, guys like Caleb Farley and Jaycee Horn could be there for the taking, and while they used a first-round pick on cornerback last year, questions still remain.
Overall, the Raiders appear to be in a great position to get a player they really need at pick No. 17, and the hope is that they can get the pick right. The franchise has improved in wins the last two seasons, but have faltered late, and with another season outside of the playoffs in 2021, Mike Mayock could be in serious trouble.