With just over a week until the 2021 NFL Draft, it’s time for Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock to finally hit on draft picks instead of reaching and drafting in desperation. The following Las Vegas Raiders six-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft (no seventh-round pick), is a combination of player needs and fits for the franchise.
The Raiders have just recently re-signed free-agent safety Karl Joseph to a 1-year-deal and cut defensive tackle Maurice Hurst and defensive end Arden Key. Neither transaction will have any effect on what the Raiders do in the draft and the team cannot afford any luxury picks because they and are not just one player away.
Las Vegas Raiders 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Day One
1.17 | Teven Jenkins | Offensive Tackle | Oklahoma State
The Raiders traded away right tackle Trent Brown to the New England Patriots for a 2022 fifth-round pick opening a huge hole on the right side of the offensive line. Listed at 6’6” and 320 pounds, Jenkins would fill that hole with ease and then some. A versatile and athletic big body with outstanding footwork and a back-alley brawler attitude, Jenkins would make a great bookend to Kolton Miller. Jenkins is also known to play through the whistle and sometimes after, a true old-school Raider offensive lineman. Yes, please.
Las Vegas Raiders 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Day Two
2.48 | Jevon Holland | Safety | Oregon
Speed, power, explosive playmaker, ballhawk are all words to describe Holland. One of 2020’s opt-outs, Holland has the size (6’1,” 207 pounds) and speed (4.46), to play single-high free safety, drop down in the box to cover a tight end and slide over to cover a slot receiver. New defensive coordinator Gus Bradley would be able to use Holland as he did Derwin James with the LA Chargers, all over the field. Maurice Jones-Drew called Jevon Holland the “best defensive player in the draft.”
2.79 | Tyson Campbell | Cornerback | Georgia
With the pick acquired from the Rodney Hudson deal, the Raiders select Tyson Campbell, listed at 6’2” and weighing 185 pounds. Campbell has the size, length, and speed teams covet in cornerbacks. Reportedly running a 4.34 40-yard dash at Georgia’s pro-day, Campbell would fit in nicely in Gus Bradley’s Cover-3 zone scheme. The Raiders drafted a CB last year in the first round of the draft but he could not stay healthy with multiple injuries and a concussion.
3.80 | Alim McNeil | Defensive Tackle | NC State
The Raiders seemingly signed every available free agent defensive lineman this offseason, but none reset the line of scrimmage and are all signed to 1-year deals, except Yannick Ngakoue (2-year deal). A little undersized for a defensive tackle, McNeil is listed at 6’1” and 315 pounds. Bruce Feldman, writer for The Athletic named McNeil to his “Freaks List” because of his vertical leap of 32 inches, while having a 445- pound bench press, and a 640-pound squat.
McNeil primarily played at the zero or one technique for the Wolfpack but can play anywhere on the interior front for the Raiders. A running back in high school, Alim McNeil is twitched up for such a big body and has the explosion, athleticism, and first-step quickness to rush the passer. That is something the Raiders have lacked from the defensive tackle position for many, many years.
Las Vegas Raiders 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Day Three
4.121 | Cameron McGrone | Linebacker | Michigan
The linebacker position may not be very high on the list of draft needs for the Raiders, but they need to get younger, faster, and more explosive at that position. The Raiders have very little depth behind Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkowski and Cameron McGrone is a true, three-down middle linebacker. Listed at 6’1” and 236 pounds, McGrone has dynamic athletic ability with sideline-to-sideline range.
McGrone is at his best when attacking downhill, shooting gaps in the run game, and making plays behind the line of scrimmage. The only downside to Cameron McGrone is that he has only started just 15 out of 19 games and needs to be more aware in coverage. You’re drafting McGrone for his athletic upside and to replace Kwiatkowski when he’s cut in 2022.
5.162 | D’wayne Eskridge | WR | Western Michigan
Jon Gruden gets another toy. Eskridge lit up all defensive backs in practices this past year at the Senior Bowl as it seemed he could not be covered. At 5’9’’ and 190 pounds, D’Wayne Eskridge is a true slot receiver who also offers you extra value as a punt returner and kick returner on special teams. Running a 4.35 40-yard dash and lined up next to Henry Ruggs, who are you going to try and cover? If the Raiders truly want to compete against the Kansas City Chiefs, what better way than to run the same exact fast-break offense, forget about the defenses in this game. The question will be if Jon Gruden can scheme up enough plays for the dynamic wide receiver.
5.167 | Kellen Mond | QB | Texas A&M
Derek Carr has 2 years left on his contract with no more guaranteed money owed and Marcus Mariota is on a 1-year deal, it’s time for the Raiders to draft a quarterback. Kellen Mond is listed at 6’2,” 205 pounds with a quick, short, compact release and rocket of an arm.
Mond is very athletic and is able to make and create plays outside of the pocket to extend drives or run the read-option. Mond showcased his talent at this year’s Senior Bowl and was named the game’s MVP. named a full-time starter halfway through his freshman year at A&M, Kellen Mond holds the all-time passing records for career passing touchdowns (71), passing yards (9,661), completions (801), attempts (1,358), and total offense (11,269).
6.200 | Dayo Odeyingbo | DE | Vanderbilt
Listed at 6’6” and 276 pounds, Odeyingbo sees his draft status fall until the sixth round because of a torn Achilles tendon suffered in January just before the Senior Bowl. With speed, power, burst, and athleticism, Odeyingbo has a chance to be a draft-day steal because of his injury.
He has the ability and versatility to play all over the defensive front from outside to inside and back. As mentioned earlier in this draft, the Raiders signed multiple defensive linemen this offseason and this pick would allow Odeyingbo to rehab an entire year without setting foot on the football field and get healthy to compete in 2022.