The Raiders have the bones of a legitimate playoff team, but they need a productive 2021 NFL Draft to power Jon Gruden’s team into the postseason.
The 2020 season began well enough for the Raiders, but a late-season swoon doomed Jon Gruden’s team to a mediocre final record of 8-8. That caused Las Vegas to miss out on the playoffs and enter the offseason searching for answers.
The hiring of Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator is designed to fix the team’s biggest weakness from a season ago. If the Raiders really want to improve things on that side of the ball they need to give their new coach more talent to work with.
Things on the offensive side of the ball are much more established. Derek Carr needs a new contract but he was excellent last year. The addition of Henry Ruggs added much-needed juice to the Raiders’ offense. The return of Tyrell Williams should make Vegas even more dangerous in 2021.
Mike Mayock and his front office enter this year’s draft with seven overall selections. The mock begins with what Las Vegas will do in the first round with the No. 17 overall selection.
Cornerback Virginia Tech
Corner isn’t necessarily the team’s biggest offseason need, but it’s where the value should line up for Las Vegas in Round 1. Farley projects to be one of the top three corners in this year’s class alongside Patrick Surtain and Shaun Wade in most mock drafts.
Gruden will fall in love with Farley’s size, athleticism, and ball skills. He’s got a chance to produce turnovers right away at the next level. Bradley should sign off on drafting him because of his ability to thrive in either man or zone coverage. Farley can come in right away and help the Raiders contend with the powerful aerial attacks in the AFC West.