Raiders Draft Recap
Before the NFL Draft, the Raiders and their fans knew the needed help on the defensive side of the ball. After an auspicious first selection, the Raiders regrouped in Days 2 & 3 to address their defense deficiencies.
The Raiders used their first-round selection to bolster the offensive line, taking Alabama tackle Alex Leatherwood 17th overall. Leatherwood was a three-year starter for the Crimson Tide, playing right guard in 2018 before moving out to left tackle for his final two years in Tuscaloosa. The 6-foot-5, 312-pound lineman earned First Team All-American honors in 2020 and won the Outland Trophy, which is awarded to the nation's top interior lineman.
With Las Vegas trading Trent Brown, Gabe Jackson and Rodney Hudson this offseason, Leatherwood could be in for a starting job as a rookie. The question will be whether the Raiders keep him at tackle or move him back inside.
The Raiders kicked off Day 2 by moving up a few slots to select TCU safety Trevon Moehrig. Las Vegas dealt the No. 48 pick and a fourth-round pick (No. 121) to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for the 43rd selection and a seventh-round pick (No. 230).
Moehrig, 6-1, 202 pounds, earned second-team All-American honors as a junior in 2020 after totaling 47 tackles, two interceptions and nine passes defended. He reportedly suffered a back injury while training ahead of the draft, which might have led to him still being available for Las Vegas to snag at No. 43.
The Raiders didn't stop adding to their defense after the Moehrig selection, using the 79th pick on Buffalo defensive end Malcolm Koonce and the 80th pick on Virginia Tech safety Divine Deablo.
Koonce totaled 63 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks over his final two seasons at Buffalo, garnering two first-team All-MAC selections. The 6-foot-2, 249-pound edge rusher joins a Raiders defensive end group that includes Clelin Ferrell, Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby.
After taking Trevon Moehrig earlier in the night, Las Vegas doubled up at safety with the Deablo selection. Deablo (6-foot-3, 226 pounds) was a wide receiver as a true freshman before converting to safety and going on to make 33 career starts in the Hokies' defensive backfield. The first-team All-ACC safety recorded 55 total tackles, two tackles for loss, four interceptions and one forced fumble in 2020.
After a trade with the Jets, the Raiders used the 143rd pick to select safety Tyree Gillespie. Over his four-year career at Missouri, he racked up 146 tackles (107 solo). Gillespie is the second safety of the draft for Las Vegas after the team grabbed Trevon Moehrig in the second round.
At No. 167, the Raiders chose Illinois cornerback Nate Hobbs, who had 168 total tackles and three interceptions in his four years, though he only played five games in 2020.
The Raiders selected center Jimmy Morrissey with their No. 230 pick in the seventh round. Morrissey started his career at Pittsburgh as a walk-on but developed into an All-ACC performer three years in a row. Over his last two seasons, he gave up only two sacks.