3 Players the Raiders Should Trade Up For in the 2021 NFL Draft
The Las Vegas Raiders are in a tricky spot. They're loaded with young talent, but after finishing 8-8 last season, they're also looking to position themselves as playoff contenders in the AFC.
Their approach to the 2021 NFL Draft will need to balance those identities, and so trading up could make a lot of sense. It would allow them to add young talent that can also contribute immediately.
With that in mind, here are three players the Raiders should consider trading up for.
1. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Micah Parsons is one of the best defensive players in this year's draft class, having received a stellar 91.6 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in his most recent season. With five quarterbacks, three wide receivers, a tight end and at least two offensive linemen looking likely to go off the board in the top 12-15 picks, we could see defensive players take a slide this year. That means the Raiders may only need to move up a few picks to grab an elite prospect at a position of need.
2. Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern
Most of what I just said about Parsons is applicable here. Slater will likely be a double-digit pick, and moving up a few spots to nab him wouldn't be too costly for Vegas. Offensive tackle is another obvious position of need for the Raiders, and the 6-foot-3, 314-pound Slater received a PFF overall grade of 90.0 playing left tackle in his last season with the Wildcats.
3. Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Christian Barmore is the best interior defensive line prospect in the class, but he's projected to be a late-first or even second-round pick. If he falls into Round 2, the Raiders should move up and grab him. Starting someone like Kendal Vickers at DT is clearly not the answer for this defense, and Barmore could step in and make an impact immediately. He was a plus run defender in 2020 (72.6 grade from PFF), but where he really shines is as a pass rusher, receiving an elite 91.5 grade. That's exactly the kind of addition that's needed in a defense that posted the NFL's fourth-lowest sack rate (3.5%) in 2020.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.