Do Las Vegas Raiders use No. 17 pick on right tackle or try to move it?


HENDERSON, Nev. — In Mike Mayock’s first “actual” draft because the Raiders basic supervisor in 2019, after years of mocking and evaluating for NFL Community, his preliminary choose got here at No. 4 total.

Say what you’ll about Clelin Ferrell, however the Raiders did use the choice on an actual and particular want at defensive finish.

A 12 months later, the Las Vegas Raiders’ high want was a speedy receiver. Once more, say what you’ll about Henry Ruggs III, however he and his 4.27-second 40 was the decision at No. 12.

As pending Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame coach Tom Flores has stated, there’s a fantastic line between drafting for a selected want and drafting the very best participant accessible. As a result of in case you’re drafting in, say, the highest 10, you’ve wants everywhere in the roster.

So right here sit the Raiders and Mayock on a decidedly nondescript choose in the midst of no-man’s land — No. 17 total. Yeah, the Raiders have wants, particularly proper sort out and free security, that might be addressed (the Raiders’ second choice will not be till No. 48). However Las Vegas, like 31 different groups, would actually wish to discover a draft choose that would step in and never solely begin straight away, however make a distinction.

So how does selecting in the midst of the primary spherical have an effect on that draft-for-a-specific-need vs. draft-the-best-player-available dichotomy?

“Relying on the way you set it up prematurely after which how the board begins to fall away, clearly, the additional you’re away from No. 1, the extra multiplication and completely different numbers come into play,” Mayock stated on a latest Zoom name with reporters. “At 17, you are sitting there and you are going, ‘OK, I believe the board goes to fall a sure manner. And the way are we going to react if it does not fall that manner? Is there a solution to get out? Is there a manner to return?’

“A whole lot of GMs across the league are making calls proper now — ‘Hey, you a keen associate, what do you assume?’ Conversely, in case you’re sitting at 17 and a man you assume goes to 8-10 or 12, any individual who you actually like that matches what you do, begins to slip just a little bit, you have to be keen to say, ‘Are we keen to take the prospect to surrender some draft capital to go get a selected man?'”

In brief?

“I’ve stated this earlier than — you need to be nimble,” Mayock stated. “It’s a must to be keen to go both manner. And because the draft develops, make these selections.”

In two drafts, although, Mayock and the Raiders have stood pat with their first-rounders. He has made his hay in later rounds with trades.

To be truthful, Mayock inherited three first-round alternatives in 2019 — No. 4 (Ferrell), No. 24 (Josh Jacobs, from the Khalil Mack commerce) and No. 27 (Johnathan Abram, from the Amari Cooper commerce) — and two first rounders in 2020 — No. 12 (Ruggs) and No. 19 (Damon Arnette, from the Mack commerce).

So yeah, that is the primary time Mayock doesn’t have a number of first-round alternatives. And possibly, simply possibly, he wasn’t enjoying with smoke and mirrors by inferring the Raiders may commerce up, or again, from No. 17.

As a result of this a lot is true: the Raiders, after reshuffling their offensive line by buying and selling away heart Rodney Hudson, proper guard Gabe Jackson and proper sort out Trent Brown this offseason, are in dire want of a plug-and-play proper sort out to bookend with the just lately prolonged left sort out in Kolton Miller — particularly if Denzelle Good stays at guard quite than proper sort out, and the Raiders transfer on from Brandon Parker. And the highest three sort out prospects — Oregon’s Penei Sewell, Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater and Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw — all determine to be passed by No. 17.

As former Raiders All-Professional proper sort out Lincoln Kennedy stated, it is a deep draft for tackles, even when the place is a tad top-heavy.

“The nice factor is, with all of the frenzy over the quarterbacks, a top-tier sort out might be discovered within the second or third spherical,” stated Kennedy, who can also be on the Raiders’ radio broadcast. “After that frenzy, a type of guys can fall in your lap, and in the event that they have been primarily left tackles, they’ll transfer to the best. Or, you possibly can transfer as much as get Slater or Darrisaw. Sewell might be gone early.”

Would possibly the Raiders merely “settle,” for lack of a greater time period, for the likes of USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker, Stanford’s Walker Little or Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins at 17?

Or do they go greatest defensive participant accessible — Alabama defensive sort out Christian Barmore (the Raiders have already got 13 defensive linemen on the roster)? TCU security Trevon Moehrig (Karl Joseph was simply re-signed)? What if Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons and his baggage fall? Then they may seize a sort out at No. 48 — North Dakota State’s Dillon Radunz? Texas’ Samuel Cosmi? Then once more, that may fly within the face of drafting stated plug-and-play proper sort out.

However Kennedy, who performed for coach Jon Gruden from 1998 by way of 2001, stated Gruden’s system is conducive for a younger sort out with the chip blocks and tight finish assist … as long as stated sort out is a “highway grader.” As such, Kennedy additionally has a watch on the likes of Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood, Clemson’s Jackson Carman (the Raiders do like Alabama and Clemson gamers) and Notre Dame’s Liam Eichenberg.

“There are sufficient sensible guys that may might be accessible later [than No. 17],” Kennedy stated, “that may nonetheless plug and play in Gruden’s system.”

Once more, all of it relies upon upon how the Raiders have their board arrange.

“You ask me about proper sort out, we have a man named Jaryd Jones-Smith who we signed off the road final [year] who we predict has an opportunity to be a extremely good soccer participant,” Mayock stated. “Type of enthusiastic about him.

“Clearly, in free company, whether or not it is the quote, ‘regular free company interval’ or what you’ve got finished on the road the prior 12 months, you are making an attempt to set your self up within the draft to be able to take the very best participant you can take. We’re very conscious of our wants. Clearly when the wants match up with the place you’re within the draft board, that is superior. After they do not, you need to be just a little cautious.”

It is an uncommon draft for extra causes than one, however this a lot is true — regardless of the ho-hum positioning of the choose, the Raiders must nail it.


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