Diving into the 2021 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders face more questions than answers. With pressure mounting, the team looks at their immediate future, with a sense of probable concern and palpable uncertainty. Looking down the road into this spring, the Raiders need to answer difficult questions.
Will they draft a tackle at 17?
After releasing Richie Incognito and Gabe Jackson, the offensive line looks rather uncertain. However, would the team jettison Trent Brown, leaving Kolton Miller and Rodney Hudson as the lone holdovers. Unless Christian Darrisawfalls like a stone, the Raiders will not commit to hitting the reset on sixty percent of their offensive line. Can’t mess with line chemistry.
What if someone drafts Azeez Ojulari before 17?
In all honesty, that would disappoint many. The former Georgia EDGE, on paper and film, seems like a perfect fit at LEO for Gus Bradley’s defense. Now, other players via free agency could fill that role, but none would arrive with the ceiling and malleable traits. If someone grabs Ojulari before 17, and Zaven Collins remains free, draft him. While he may not possess the explosive rush ability, his versatility would serve the defense well.
Will the Raiders draft a safety with either of their first two picks?
With John Johnson remaining a viable option, the Raiders need to open the wallet, pony up, and secure his services. According to Spotrac, Johnson should command an 8.3 million dollar yearly salary. Additionally, he will garner a multi-year offer. Spotrac predicts a five-year, 41.7 million dollar deal. If Gruden and Mayock balk at that number, players like Trevon Moehrig and Richie Grant remain options. Each possesses range and the necessary ball skills to provide protection for Jonathan Abram. Basically, this hinges on how much money the Raiders want to commit.
How many edge rushers should Vegas draft?
In all honestly, at least two. If the Raiders luck out and Ojulari sits at seventeen, picking up a Day 3 developmental pick wouldn’t be terrible. Behind Maxx Crosby, the team lack both edge depth and talent. Clelin Ferrell stops the run. He presents limited rush potential. The Raiders need depth. By drafting another edge late, Rod Marinelli gets an edge to develop.
In reality, for an 8-8 team, the Raiders need a great draft. After years of failure, the bill comes due.