The Las Vegas Raiders aren’t entirely done with their offseason, but we are reaching the home stretch. The NFL draft has come and gone with the Raiders using trades to move around and grab their target players.
The draft value of their picks is one of the best areas. The Raiders didn’t reach on any players and took the best player available at positions of need. It is the perfect mix for a winning structure in the draft process.
With that said, let us look at the grades of each draft pick.
Round 3- Dylan Parham IOL, Memphis
The Raiders started the draft addressing a position that fans were worried about going into the season. They added much-needed depth to the interior offensive line by drafting Dylan Parham out of Memphis.
Parham played guard and tackle for the Tigers. According to PFF, he excelled this past season in pass protection, allowing ten pressures total. However, because of his size profile, he is not fit for the guard position in the NFL. His best position as we advance is center, with him playing that spot primarily at the Senior Bowl.
Parham will give competition to Andre James, whose contract was restructured before the season. James will have to fight off Parham, who made the transition, but the Raiders will be cross-trained across the offensive line. James could still find a home at guard.
Round 4- Zamir White RB, Georgia
The Raiders’ decision not to give Josh Jacobs a fifth-year option wasn’t a surprise for many. With the injury history haunting Jacobs, the new staff thought it was wise to take a young back. They chose Zamir White out of Georgia.
White was part of a historic Georgia team that had 17 draft picks. He fits the mold for McDaniels, weighing 214 and a significant 40 time for long speed. His vision is his best attribute, with the ability to be patient and set blocks with explosive bursts. Of course, he is a natural bruiser who plays with physicality.
However, Isaiah Spiller was on the board and fitted the mold for McDaniels. Spiller is the better pass catcher with make-you-miss ability. White is missing that on tape, but the Raiders are fans of running back from committees. It will be Jacobs’s replacement but let’s see if they regret letting Spiller go to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Round 4- Neil Farrell DT, LSU
The Raiders are bare at the defensive tackle position but not at the nose tackle. The Raiders have Hankins and Billings with Peko inside already. This regime believes in the best player available and takes Neil Farrell from LSU.
Farrell is one of the best-run defenders in the nation. According to PFF, Farrell was 13th in the country in run-stop percentage. He has excellent burst off the ball with strong hands, allowing one gap and two gap inside. He displays upside as a pass rush with 24 pressures this past season.
Farrell will be the future at the nose tackle position with none of the other players around for the next season. In year one, he will get an opportunity to produce and be a part of the rotation in the future.
Round 5- Matthew Butler DT, Tennesee
Now the absolute defensive tackle position of need is the three-technique. Usually the pass rushing defensive tackle, the Raiders only have Bilal Nichols there at the moment. The Raiders used their fifth-round pick to create competition with Matthew Butler.
Butler is a player with pass-rush upside from the interior. He is quick for his 297-pound frame with good pass rush moves to help get generate pressure on the quarterback. With Butler, it is about consistency with technique. According to PFF, his pressure rate was 11% compared to Farrell, who was at 13%.
The run is not his specialty either, where he can struggle against double teams inside. Butler is a project defensive tackle who can hopefully add juice in sub packages on third down. He shouldn’t expect a severe impact in year one.
Round 7 – Thayer Munford G/T, Ohio State
The Raiders entered the seventh feeling good about their draft so far. The value of the draft picks was top-notch, and the seventh would be the icing on the cake. They went for even more offensive lineman depth with Thayer Munford from Ohio State.
Munford was an excellent left tackle in 2020, allowing three pressures in a shortened season. He then switched to guard for his senior and struggled to adjust to the new position. Then his athletic profile didn’t make it easier for Munford with a 5.39 40-yard dash and 22’ vertical leap.
That’s how a player that caliber falls to the seventh round. Munford will be a versatile backup at both guard and the tackle position for the Raiders. He will have to beat out Brandon Parker to make the team.
Round 7 -Brittan Brown RB, UCLA
The Raiders seemed set at the running back position after the pick of Zamir White. They shocked the nation by using their final night selection on Brittan Brown from UCLA.
Brown had a rough offseason with a bad athletic profile that allowed him to fall. His tape displays more burst as a runner and a long speed that doesn’t scream 4.69. He has good vision and can use his patience and explode through holes into the second level. He didn’t add much as a pass catcher and didn’t see much as a blocker from Brown on film.
With him being more of a two-down back, it puts pressure on Josh Jacobs to perform at a high level. White and Brown have the talent to tote the rock, and Jacobs better put on a show in his contract year.
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