Henderson, Nev--The NFL Draft has grown into nearly a national holiday, as the eyes of the nation look expectantly to the future with dreams of Super Bowls delivered from their new starts.
In the spirit of that anticipation, we at Sports Illustrated’s Raider Maven offer the Silver and Black our first four-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft. Scouting reports are courtesy of our fantastic colleagues at the NFL Draft Bible.
RD 1, No. 17, Las Vegas Raiders: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Parsons was an immediate impact player as a true freshman and emerged as the Nittany Lions' team leader. The Pennsylvania native shows a great change of direction, fluid agility, and flies to fill the gap while swarming to the football. He likes to play chess with opposing quarterbacks by giving them different looks and lots of pre-snap gyrations. Parsons possesses excellent speed and quickness when dropping back in coverage. Parsons is a generational type of talent that could arguably play any position, but forecasts as a true MIKE linebacker with his comfort level breaking down the huddle, making the calls on the field, and leading his men into battle. It’s hard to fathom that Penn State, which used to be known as “Linebacker U.,” has failed to produce a linebacker chosen in the first round since 2000 (LaVar Arrington), but Parsons appears destined to end the drought. There’s not much this kid can’t do.
RD 2, No. 48, Las Vegas Raiders: Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
At Syracuse, Cisco proved to be a true ballhawk. We project him at the next level as a boundary safety. He's going to thrive playing in the box and stuffing the run. That's what he does very well. He has great instincts, shows good anticipation. Very good straight-line speed from point A to point B. In ball pursuit, he's very quick there. An explosive hitter. A workout warrior. Had there been a combine or if he does get an opportunity to compete at the combine, I do think that is where he kind of picks up some ground on what I believe is a pretty strong safety class.
RD 3, No. 79, Las Vegas Raiders: Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama
Leatherwood utilizes his arm length to keep defenders at bay in pass protection and has the necessary strength to drive opponents as a run blocker. He owns a great combination of size, athleticism and power. He’ll need to refine his technique, as he tends to get overextended and caught out of position at times, affecting his balance. Would like to see him be more aggressive in the second level seeking out contact. His work at the left tackle position for the Crimson Tide will be very appealing, but his performance is still a long way from being technically sound enough to last on the blindside. Leatherwood’s experience inside at guard is a big plus for his draft projection and some teams could prefer him along with the interior. Coaches praise his coach-ability and football IQ.
RD 3, No. 80, Las Vegas Raiders: Dillon Radunz, T, North Dakota State
Possesses tremendous athleticism, experience as a three-year starter and is a highly intelligent player. Radunz demonstrates a high motor, does a nice job on chip blocks and in getting down the line while seeking to destroy at the second level. Despite playing in only one game during the 2020 season, Radunz demonstrates an advanced technique for the position, highlighted by his dominant performance at the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl. He does need to learn how to do a better job finishing his blocks on a more consistent basis and polish up some missteps in pass protection. Radunz will also be fighting the small-school label even while coming from the cream of the crop on the FCS level. Radunz has plenty of room to bulk up an additional 10-15 pounds, which could be beneficial for him to get stronger for the next level.
RD 4, No. 121, Las Vegas Raiders: Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
Began his career as the starting quarterback for the Tar Heels, and Surratt is the type of high-upside athlete whose best football is firmly in front of him. Surratt is a notable athlete for the position, possessing an outstanding blend of range and short-area quickness. He has shown the ability to pursue well to the perimeter, quickly gaining ground on opposing ball carriers. There is a slipperiness to Surratt, squeezing through gaps to make a large number of plays in the backfield. In the passing game, Surratt has loose hips to transition quickly in zone coverage. He has not been pressed into too much man coverage responsibilities, but has the necessary length and athleticism to match up accordingly. With substantial upside, Surratt has the makings of a playmaker, disrupting the football at a high volume. The instincts and physicality Surratt plays with near the line of scrimmage are surprising for a player of his limited experience. While he isn’t perfect, projecting how good Surratt can be down the line is exciting.
Please make sure you tell us your thoughts when you like our Facebook Page WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE.
Want the latest breaking Las Vegas Raiders news delivered straight to you? CLICK THE FOLLOW button on the top of the page. Don't miss any of the latest up to the second updates for your Las Vegas Raiders when you follow on Twitter @HondoCarpenter