The Las Vegas Raiders' direction would seem to be obvious when it comes to forecasting what they’ll do in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Seemingly every writer around the league has predicted the Raiders going with defense in some form or fashion with their first-round pick.
That could very well happen, although ever since Jon Gruden started his second tenure as head coach, the Raiders have often surprised with their picks.
That’s why it serves well to expect the unexpected on draft night, and that involves looking at two different things the Raiders could do with the 17th overall pick.
The first and very plausible choice is that they could trade down.
The Raiders currently have only six picks in the draft, not giving them a ton of flexibility to make moves for prospects they like.
Considering that even if they go defense it will take more than one high pick to complete a full turnaround, the Raiders could look to load up on as many difference-makers as possible.
If they go away from expectations though and even go for offense, look for them to find an offensive line upgrade.
Veterans Trent Brown and Richie Incognito could be gone by next season, so the Raiders could prioritize finding one or both of their replacements.
All you have to do is look at what happened to the Dallas Cowboys injury-depleted O-line this season to understand the importance of depth for those positions.
Considering how Gruden wants to maintain the identity of a running football team, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Raiders consider that in the first round.
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