2021 NFL Draft: Day 3 linebackers for Las Vegas Raiders to target
The Raiders are probably tired of drafting guys who don’t have a natural position but here is another interesting player in Houston’s Grant Stuard. The Texas native originally went to Houston to play safety and started 12 games at the position before switching to linebacker in 2020 and starting 7 of Houston’s 8 games.
Stuard has excelled at both positions, having been named Second Team All-AAC at safety in 2019 and First Team All-AAC at linebacker in 2020. He lead the team in tackles in both seasons and was a contributor on defense and special teams. The senior plays with a relentless motor and his energy are infectious as he made plays from sideline to sideline.
Where Stuard struggles is against blocks in space as he can get swallowed up due to his tweener status. He doesn’t project as a defensive back at the next level because of his stiffness in coverage but he can be a great energy guy to bring into the rotation. Stuard measured in at 5-11, 230 at the Senior Bowl so he put on some weight since the season and has focused on switching full-time to linebacker.
We know he sounds a bit like Tanner Muse in terms of profile and makeup so the Raiders may want to avoid him but if he is available in the 7th round he could be an immediate contributor on special teams and defense. His relentless effort and flowing hair could make him an immediate fan favorite as well.