2021 NFL Draft: 7-round Las Vegas Raiders mock draft brings major haul
With the 121st pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders select Marlon Tuipulotu from the University of Southern California. Tuipulotu is a talented defensive tackle who is projected to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick so him lasting until the 4th round is a boon to Raiders as they rebuild their defense.
As with most interior defensive lineman not named Aaron Donald, it is difficult to measure Marlon Tuipulotu‘s impact on games using simple statistics but he was still relatively productive in his 3 years as a starter at USC. In 28 starts from 2018-20, Tuipulotu recorded 102 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 passes defended.
Tuipulotu is a classic run-stuffing defensive tackle at the NFL level, measuring in at 6-0, 307lbs with plenty of strength that he displayed with 29 reps on the bench press. What he lacks in pass rushing ability he makes up for in the ability to draw double teams and hold up at the line of scrimmage to allow other defenders to make tackles.
The Raiders added a bunch of defensive lineman in free agency this offseason but most are on one-year prove it deals and they will need a talented DT to build around in the future. Tuipulotu could be an immediate contributor as a rotational defensive lineman and could be especially useful in short yardage situations.