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Tre'Von Moehrig, the Next Great Raiders Safety?

The Las Vegas Raiders rookie safety Tre'von Moehrig could be the next great defensive back to wear the beloved Silver and Black.

There is a belief within the Las Vegas Raiders that rookie Tre’von Moehrig could one day rank with the best safeties who have played for the Silver and Black.

That’s saying a mouthful, considering that the Raiders’ legacy on the last line of defense includes the likes of Charles Woodson, Ronnie Lott, Rod Woodson, Jack Tatum, Dave Grayson, George Atkinson, Mike Davis, and Vann McElroy.

Both Woodson and Lott are in the Hall of Fame, and there are those who believe Tatum and Grayson, who played in the American Football League days during the 1960s, also should be enshrined in Canton, Ohio.

After watching Moehrig play in OTAs and mini-camp, General Manager Mike Mayock said the former TCU All-American is the “prototype” free safety for new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s system.

“Moehrig brings some much-needed playmaking ability in coverage to the Raiders’ secondary, but it remains to be seen how he fits in Gus Bradley’s defense after playing in a split-field safety defense at TCU,” according to Pro Football Focus. There’s reason to believe he can have success as a single-high safety with his size, smarts, and explosiveness.”

That the 6-2, 202-pound Moehrig, who earned the 2020 Jim Thorpe Award as the top defensive back in college football last season as a junior before deciding to turn pro, wound up with the Raiders was basically a stroke of good luck.

Moehrig was projected to be a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, possibly the first defensive back off the board, but reports of a back injury surfaced on his pro day and his stock slipped.

When Moehrig, a two-time All-Big 12 Conference selection, slid into the second round, the Raiders traded up and grabbed him with the 43rd overall pick.

Moehrig was one person who was not surprised.

“We had multiple interviews, conversations, talked to Coach (Jon) Gruden, talked to the whole defensive staff, and they just told me they needed a safety and they were planning to come get me,” Moehrig said after being selected.

“I’m super excited. I’m pumped. My back is safe, and I’m pumped to be a Raider.”

In three seasons, at TCU, Moehrig recorded 124 total tackles, including 4½ for losses, forced two fumbles, recovered one, and intercepted seven passes that he returned for 90 yards.

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His new teammates saw those skills and were impressed during OTAs and mini-camp.

“I feel like he’s going to be really talented,” said veteran cornerback Trayvon Mullen, who figures Moehrig will be starting with him in the Raiders secondary. “He practices hard, he goes through his drills really well. I like the way he approaches practice.

“I feel like he’s going to be a real good player for us as long as he just keeps his mentality up and keeps going hard every day. Tre’ is doing very well. I’m happy for him. … And the way he’s approaching every day, it’s like he’s ready and prepared.”

Added tight end Darren Waller, who went against Moehrig in workouts: “Tre’von has a very calm nature about him. He doesn’t really get too flustered or all over the place or out of control. He seems very dialed in and on top of what he’s doing.”

Moehrig also got his off-the-field business done recently when he signed his four-year rookie contract with the Raiders.

Like everything else since joining the Raiders, he was excited about it.

“It’s crazy, it’s a blessing,” said Moehrig, who seems to have fit right in with the Silver and Black. “I woke up today with a big smile on my face, just thanking God and my family for everything they’ve put into me to help me get here.

“We’re developing fast. We’re creating bonds already. ... Great group of guys who love to work and want to find time to hang out outside of football so we can get to know each other more, so overall everybody in the rookie class has been great.

“I’m looking forward to this season and the years to come.”

Raider Nation should enjoy it, too.

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