After winding up with half of all the wide receivers available on the second day of the draft, or at least close to it, it’s safe to say the Raiders will not be looking there on the third day of the draft. Currently sitting with three remaining picks, it would probably suit them best to attempt to trade down tomorrow afternoon. However, should that not be possible, there are still plenty of impact players available.
Pick 121: Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State
One of my favorite players in the draft, Davis-Gaither was robbed of his rightful place on the second day by new Eagles’ LB Davion Taylor. Davis-Gaither should hear his name called very early on the third day, so Vegas will have to move quickly to get him.
The Raiders’ current plan is to hope Nick Kwiatkoski can hold up as a stand-up outside linebacker. Kwiatkoski is a good football player, but that’s putting a lot of strain on a guy playing in a role he hasn’t before in his NFL career. Stand-up outside linebacker is Davis-Gaither’s forte, as he is definitely not a guy that will have his nose in a crowded box very often. He’s best in nickel and dime packages, which is very valuable against the track meet that the AFC West is currently turning into.
Davis-Gaither has all the fundamentals you want out of a linebacker with a frame issue, and should be able to make a day one impact for whatever team selects him, provided he bulks out. This would take a lot of pressure off of Kwiatkoski and Nicholas Morrow at the linebacker slot, and he should be an very good linebacker for years to come.
Pick 139: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
Yes, there are plenty of negatives in Jacob Eason’s game. Yes, he can’t move. Yes, he doesn’t have the best touch. But you are absolutely lying to yourself if you don’t think there are plenty of redeeming qualities in Eason that make him an absolutely intriguing as a developmental option.
First of all, he has a cannon, and pretty good accuracy to go with it. He doesn’t face pressure all that well, but if he has the time, he’ll make the throw. He is a bit slow to go through progressions, but being able to learn behind two long-term starting quarterbacks in Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr should theoretically help there. Putting him potentially in a system which allows him to air out passes to Henry Ruggs has a massive potential for reward down the line.
It’s a sexy pick, but ideally, he’s not playing a game in 2021. Whether or not you buy into the rumors of Jon Gruden not liking Derek Carr (I don’t), both him and Mariota are on very cuttable contracts in 2021. Eason might not be the quarterback of the future, but in the fourth round, I’m willing to take a chance.
Pick 172: Hakeem Adeniji, OT, Kansas
Jon Gruden and company seem to be a lot higher on Kolton Miller than I, but that says nothing of Brandon Parker, currently slated to be the third offensive tackle on the roster. Adeniji is far from a completed project, but I am extremely high on his upside to be an impact offensive lineman in this league.
Adeniji is very quick off the line from his tackle spot, as well as fluid getting to the second level. His lateral movement and functional strength are definitely suspect, but that’s what offensive line coaches are for. Some think his long-term outlook may be at the guard slot, though I really do believe that, with some development, he could be a long term solution at tackle for whatever team wants him. The Raiders actually have a really solid offensive line, but the depth is suspect, and at the very worst, this fifth round pick would be used on a four-year Big XII starter to be your backup, which definitely would be a victory.