The defensive line was going to be an obvious focus area for the Las Vegas Raiders during the offseason.
We’ve gone over some of the best edge prospects who are going to be available in the 2021 NFL Draft.
We even just went over one of the draft's best run defenders in LSU defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin.
The D-line is something Raiders fans will want to continue being focused on.
That means in every round, the potential for the Raiders to keep loading up on their D-line can’t be ignored.
One player who offers a good floor as a potential day two pick is Pittsburgh defensive end Rashad Weaver.
Weaver has offered strong production when he’s been on the field in two of the last three seasons.
He did miss all of the 2019 season because of a torn ACL.
Weaver came back in 2020, though, and ended up having the best season of his college career.
In nine games, Weaver tied his career-high for tackles for losses with 14 and had a career-high 7.5 sacks.
That, along with 38 combined quarterback hits and hurries, led to Pro Football Focus giving him a grade of 89.5, seventh-best among edge defenders in 2020.
He uses his power at 6-5 and 270 pounds to dictate terms at the line of scrimmage and consistently win at the point of attack.
Weaver is a sound player technically, consistent with his form off the line and in possessing counter moves.
His length also gives Weaver a strong base as a run defender to set the edge.
The questions around his profile revolve most around what his ceiling could be in the league.
Weaver is not considered to be a quick-twitch athlete, with scouts saying he has a sluggish get off, which makes his pass rush moves not as threatening.
He also suffered a major injury before in the torn ACL in 2019, and will already be 24 halfway through his rookie season.
Weaver's profile is similar to another future rookie, defensive end Carlos Basham Jr. of Wake Forest, another player who doesn’t wow athletically but was a very productive player.
It’s that production that still has those players projected to be no worse than day two picks in the draft.
The Raiders could still use more depth off the edge, and while there may be players with more upside, Weaver could step in right away as a productive presence.
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