2021 NFL Draft: Could the Las Vegas Raiders go OL with two of first three picks?
By Brad Weiss
The Las Vegas Raiders stripped their offensive line this offseason and could go offensive line with two of their first three picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.
This offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders shocked most of Raider Nation when they decided to trade away star center Rodney Hudson. One of the premier centers in football during his time in the Silver and Black, Hudson was one of three starters from last season to be traded away by the Raiders along the offensive line, as he was joined by Gabe Jackson and Trent Brown.
Heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, the Raiders hold the No. 17 overall pick in round one, No. 48 in round two, and two third-round picks, giving them four of the first 80 selections across the first three rounds. With their first three picks, the focus should be on the offensive line, an area they could use two of the first three selections on.
Raiders could go offensive line with two of top-3 picks
We have already spoken about the depth at offensive tackle in this draft class, and the talent that could still be available to the Raiders with the No. 48 overall pick. They could easily land a first-round offensive tackle in the second round, and with the No. 79 overall pick in the third round, there could still be some players that can start right away available.
If the Raiders happen to see an elite defensive player fall to them at No. 17, that has to be the play, and with how much offensive linemen talent there is, picks No. 48 and 79 could be used to bolster that unit. Also, if one of the top offensive tackles is there at No. 17, Jon Gruden may decide that is the best move, getting a defensive talent in round two, before focusing back on the offensive line at pick No. 79.
Remember, they hold the No. 79 and 80 picks in the third round, so it is not like a team can jump over them to get a player they like after the 79th pick.
The truth is, the Raiders have big-time issues on defense, and that they have not done enough to help improve the secondary this offseason. As is the case every year, it is anyone’s guess what Jon Gruden plans to do in the draft, but one thing is for sure, bolstering the secondary and the offensive line has to be the priority.