The Las Vegas Raiders focused almost exclusively on defense in the 2021 NFL Draft and we gave a grade for each round of their selections.
The Las Vegas Raiders were one of the more intriguing teams coming in to the 2021 NFL Draft because while they had very clear needs on the offensive line and on the defense, it was hard to get a pulse on their selections because of Jon Gruden’s rogue nature. Many mocks had them taking the best defensive player available in the first round and then focusing on the offense line before switching back to defense.
Instead, they chose to use the first-round pick on a talented offensive lineman before going five deep on the defensive side of the ball. The Raiders were movers and shakers in the draft and even considered trading down from the 17th pick to stock up on picks but instead traded up twice to snag two defensive players.
We acknowledge that it is difficult to grade a draft just days after it is completed as there is so much unknown when it comes to these young men, but we will do our best. We graded these picks based on the players’ perceived talent, their fit with the Raiders, whether they fill a need or not, and the value of the pick relative to the player selected.
Let’s start with the first and most controversial pick that the Raiders made in the 2021 NFL Draft.