Raiders Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden were ridiculed for their draft class earlier this year, but so far it appears they may have hit big on a few picks.
One thing that you can always expect out of a Las Vegas Raiders draft is that they will make a big surprise pick in the first round, and this year was no different with Mike Mayock selecting Alabama guard Alex Leatherwood. Although Leatherwood was phenomenal in college, he was not projected as a first-round pick by many, which is leading to a lot of questions surrounding Leatherwood.
We have not seen a ton of the first-round pick, but the veterans on the team have had great things to say about him. According to reports, he has looked great in practice, and he played a solid game in the few series he got to play in the first game.
Leatherwood is clearly not a finished project, but he has clearly made some improvements, using his inside hand better than the film showed in practice, and although it appears he may still have some issues with speed rushers, it is looking like Leatherwood should be a promising player.
Raiders strike gold with Tre’Von Moehrig
One draft pick that the Raiders were extremely excited about drafting was safety Tre’Von Moehrig, and so far, he has exceeded expectations. It has been stated multiple times by reporters that Moehrig is showing out at practice, playing the ball better than Raiders safeties in years past.
Not only has he played great in the Raiders’ practice, but he recorded two interceptions in scrimmages against the Rams. If Moehrig can play the ball as well as he has in practice in games, and Abram gets comfortable in the box, the Raiders may have a promising young safety duo.
One surprise rookie that has Raiders fans fired up is cornerback Nate Hobbs, who has received praise from coaches all off-season. Hobbs made a huge play in the first preseason game, lighting up the Seahawks QB, blitzing as the nickel cornerback, and forcing a huge sack that almost resulted in a fumble.
Coach Gruden has stated that Hobbs has the potential to be the starting nickel corner for the Raiders on opening day, and after seeing the fire and physicality that he brings to the field, I think Raiders fans would love to see more of him on the field.
The final rookie that has stood out to me is running back Trey Ragas, who had a big day against the Seahawks in the first preseason game. We are going to see a lot of Ragas in the next two weeks, and with Jalen Richard injured, Ragas is making a big push to make the team.
Ragas ran the ball hard all night, rushing for 62 yards and a touchdown.
The Las Vegas Raiders are banking on a huge year from rookie Trevon Moehrig, who must put together a Derwin James-like rookie season.
So far, from the small bit, we have seen, it appears that this Raiders rookie class could be better than a lot of people thought. Their young defensive backs are showing out, the early draft picks are looking to be a hit, and we still have not even gotten to see much of players like Divine Deablo or Tyree Gillespie.