Before the 2022 NFL Draft officially kicks off, let’s take a moment to sum up the latest Raiders draft class, while they’re still the latest Raiders draft class.
The 2021 draft class for the Las Vegas Raiders was one for the franchise’ history books. While it hasn’t been a groundbreaking class [yet] by any measure of the word, it still holds historical significance for the Raiders. This draft class marked the last class under both head coach Jon Gruden, and general manager Mike Mayock.
The Raiders entered the ’21 draft with eight picks, but after trades were made in both the second and fourth rounds, the team wrapped up the draft with seven selections. When it was all said and done, these picks were numbers 17, 43, 79, 80, 143, 167 and 230, overall.
The Silver and Black began their draft night at 17 overall, where they selected right tackle Alex Leatherwood. While Leatherwood was considered a reach by virtually every media outlet, this was the player the Raiders had been predicted to pick for quite some time, prior to the draft’s arrival.
If media outlets didn’t mock the Raiders grabbing Leatherwood in the first-round, it was TCU safety Tre’von Moehrig in that spot. Lucky for Las Vegas, the safety kept falling as the draft went on, until no.43 came around. San Francisco was on the clock, and the Raiders were just six spots behind, sitting at 48 overall. Mayock didn’t want to take any more chances, though.
Fearing Moehrig wouldn’t last until 48, Mayock agreed to a trade that gave the Raiders the rights to the 43rd overall pick, making them now on the clock. To no one’s surprise, that pick was used on Moehrig, who most were shocked was still available despite back injury concerns.
With the back-to-back third-rounders, Malcolm Koonce and Divine Deablo were chosen. The remaining three selections consisted of safety Tyree Gillespie, cornerback Nate Hobbs and center Jimmy Morrissey, with the latter no longer on the roster.
One year later, and they each got to flash what they bring to the table. Some of the rookies were outstanding, while others were underwhelming. There are two things all the rookies had in common, though: All showed promise in some way during the season, and all are going to have their rookie season’s summed up in three words.