So far in our 2021 NFL Draft prospect spotlight series, we’ve examined a number of defensive prospects that could be around when the Las Vegas Raiders pick at 17th overall.
Today, we’ll be looking at the best defensive prospect in this draft, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.
A quick disclaimer: Parsons in all likelihood will be picked well before the Raiders draft at pick No. 17.
Recent mock drafts, though, have had him sliding to the middle of the first round.
So even if there’s only a small possibility the Raiders could take him, he’s too important not to examine.
Considered as one of, if not the best linebacker prospect to come out in the last five years or so, Parsons has some of the best talent in the entire draft.
Parsons showed that in his last season at Penn State, when he finished with 109 total tackles, 14 of those for losses, five sacks and four forced fumbles.
All of those statistics ranked in the top-20 in the Big Ten in 2019, and show off all of Parsons skills.
Parsons is versatile in that he can go sideline to sideline as well as any linebacker in this class while being able to line up all across the defensive line on blitzes.
There’s a reason of course why he’s not a unanimous top pick though, and that has to do with character concerns from his time at Penn State.
Chiefly, he was being accused by former teammate Isaiah Humphries of taking part in a hazing scandal.
It only ended up being an allegation, however, as Parsons was never formally charged and Penn State at large was cleared of any wrongdoing.
With that in mind, Parsons should be in play for every team in the first round.
For a team like the Raiders who need a defensive game-changer, if there’s any chance they could get Parsons, they should strongly consider taking it.
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