Las Vegas Raiders NFL Draft Picks & Grades 2021

After multiple departures on their offensive line and holes all over their roster, the Las Vegas Raiders are in a bit of a rebuild. With Derek Carr under center and Darren Waller at tight end, they still have talent to work with. How will they attack the 2021 NFL Draft, and how will their picks grade out?

Raiders draft picks in 2021

  • 17th Overall Selection (R1-P17): Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
  • 43rd Overall Selection (R2-P11): Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
  • 79th Overall Selection (R3-P16, from Arizona): Malcolm Koonce, EDGE, Buffalo
  • 80th Overall Selection (R3-P17): Divine Deablo, LB/S, Virginia Tech
  • 143rd Overall Selection (R4-P38, compensatory pick): Tyree Gillespie, S, Missouri
  • 167th Overall Selection (R5-R23, from Seattle): Nate Hobbs, CB, Illinois
  • 230th Overall Selection (R7-P2, from N.Y Jets): Jimmy Morrissey, C, Pittsburgh

Who did the Raiders draft on Day 1?

With the 17th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders selected Alabama offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood.

Las Vegas Raiders grades for 2021 NFL Draft

The Raiders needed a right tackle to replace Trent Brown, and they get that with Leatherwood.

Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

His long arms and experience in the SEC are very appealing. The longtime Alabama starter was able to wow Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock enough to take him at No. 17. If he struggles at tackle, he also has the versatility to play guard, having done that earlier in his career at Alabama.

The Raiders have reshuffled their offensive line this offseason and hope this new offensive line can help lead them to a playoff berth. Carr can drive this talented Raiders offense as long as the offensive line keeps him protected. Leatherwood’s tools and battle-tested experience are what drew the Raiders to him.

Grade: C

Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

The Raiders may have reached a bit in the first round with Leatherwood. Yet, in the second round they find excellent value. TCU safety Trevon Moehrig fell right into their laps. Moehrig presents a massive upgrade for a Raiders team that desperately needed a free safety.

Grade: A+

Malcolm Koonce, EDGE, Buffalo

The Raiders have looked to improve both sides of the line in this 2021 NFL Draft. Malcolm Koonce was a productive and impactful pass rusher for Buffalo this year. He’s raw and doesn’t possess a great ceiling, but he should be able to plug in and play productive football for Jon Gruden early in his career.

Grade: C+

Divine Deablo, LB/S, Virginia Tech

Blurring the line between safety and linebacker, Divine Deablo provides versatility and attitude to a Raiders defense that needed an injection of talent on the second level. The Raiders have done a great job filling out all levels of the defense with their 2021 draft selections. Deablo will line up everywhere for Gruden at WILL, nickel, and strong safety. 

Grade: B

Tyree Gillespie, S, Missouri

One of the rangiest and more versatile safeties in the class. Tyree Gillespie has the athletic ability to be a center-fielding single-high free safety and a matchup piece in man coverage. 

Grade: B+

Nate Hobbs, CB, Illinois

The Raiders needed to address the depth issues in the defensive backfield. Nate Hobbs gives them a sure tackling CB with blitzing ability. He could potentially even flex to safety.

Grade: B+

Jimmy Morrissey, C, Pittsburgh

The Raiders continue to address the line with the selection of Jimmy Morrissey. Experienced and well developed, he’ll provide quality depth for Las Vegas. Will he get an opportunity to compete for a starting spot?

Grade: C+

Las Vegas Raiders Overall Grade: A-

Despite reaching a bit for Alex Leatherwood, the Raiders found really good value throughout the draft. Trevon Moehrig was arguably the best pick of Day 2. Malcolm Koonce, Divine Deablo, and Tyree Gillespie should all play a decent amount of snaps this year. Jimmy Morrisey could eventually be your starting center.

Team needs for Las Vegas coming into the NFL Draft

The Raiders are in the middle of rebuilding and competing with holes in many places.

Safety

The Raiders currently have veteran Jeff Heath slated to be their starting free safety. This would indicate an upgrade is needed to be made, either through the draft or with a free agent afterward.

Linebacker

The Raiders lack a true MIKE linebacker, someone that can be Jon Gruden’s quarterback on defense. Expect them to target the position early on.

Cornerback

Despite spending a few early selections on cornerback recently, the Raiders still need better corner play. Whether it’s an early selection fighting for a chance to start, or a later pick filling out the depth chart, draft capital must be spent here.

Offensive Tackle

Specifically, right tackle is a need. The Raiders moved Brown during this offseason and are currently expected to start Brandon Parker. They should be able to find a rookie in this class capable of taking that starting spot.

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