Over the last week and a half, we’ve gone over position previews for the Las Vegas Raiders in preparation for the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft.
With those previews now complete, it’s time to rank them all in order from most to least important for the Raiders to consider, starting with defense.
1. Defensive Line
While we did previews for both defensive tackle and end for the Raiders, we’ll keep it simple and just put the D-line as the number one need as a whole.
There’s usually one thing that great NFL teams have, and that’s a dominant player on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
The Raiders have the pieces to do that on the offensive line, but the overall defensive line leaves a lot to be desired.
The Raiders do have foundational pieces like Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby but need more depth behind them, as well as reliable talent at defensive tackle.
The Raiders have one potential future safety in Johnathan Abram.
However, after Abram ranked dead last in Pro Football Focus’ position rankings, the Raiders could look to add a better fit in coverage.
Considering that Erik Harris is a free agent this offseason and Jeff Heath only has one year left on his contract, it may be a necessity anyway.
3. Linebacker, Cornerback (Tie)
Both of these positions being ranked last for the defense doesn’t mean the Raiders shouldn’t add to them in the draft.
They do have multiple starters in place at both spots.
On the corner, Damon Arnette and Trayvon Mullen both have youth and talent to potentially improve as a starting duo.
They didn’t get much veteran support this year, though, so the Raiders might need to invest in more depth in the draft depending on their options in free agency.
At linebacker, both Nicholas Morrow and Nick Kwiatkoski ranked well among the metrics and should be part of the solution going forward.
Morrow though will be a free agent, and Cory Littleton’s lack of performance in the first year of his contract could push the Raiders to look for insurance if he can’t turn it around going forward.
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