No less than a week ago, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah dropped his first highly anticipated mock draft of 2021. It's no secret that mock drafts are fluid and change nearly every month, but Jeremiah is well-respected in the NFL community, and his predictions mean something. On the heels of his mock draft, he released his top-50 prospects Tuesday morning, and someone in the top-25 is a player he thinks could end up in the Silver and Black.
We won't go through each of his prospect evaluations, but let's check out some of the notable players who could be tied to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan (No. 18 overall)
General Manager Mike Mayock and Head Coach Jon Gruden are well aware that there are areas of the defense that need to be bolstered in order for the team to succeed in 2021. Last season, the Raiders finished 29th in sacks with a total of 21. In Jeremiah's mock, he didn't have him going to Mayock and Gruden with the No. 17 pick, but he does believe he'll be there if they decide to take him.
Paye offers prototypical speed and size to match up with offensive linemen at the NFL level. During his time at Michigan, Jim Harbaugh's staff moved him around the defensive line, but he did his best work when he was flying off the edge. His explosiveness and his effort are two of his greatest attributes and would be welcomed with open arms on the Raiders.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame (No. 21 overall)
Owusu-Koramoah is Jeremiah's pick to end up as a member of the Raiders in late April, and he has him just outside the top-20 prospects ahead of the NFL Draft. Notre Dame has a knack for breeding talented prospects at the linebacker position, and Owusu-Koramoah is no exception. During two seasons as a Golden Domer, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker registered 142 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks, five forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries.
He's not your typical linebacker in stature, but Owusu-Koramoah is built for the modern-day NFL with his hybrid size and speed combination. The league requires linebackers to cover the new-age tight ends with speed and elite route-running skills. In a division that features arguably the best tight end in football, the Raiders need to find an answer to Travis Kelce. Owusu-Koramoah is capable of playing myriad positions and is dynamic when he drops in coverage.
Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa (No. 35 overall)
Our third and final prospect we'll be analyzing is Daviyon Nixon out of Iowa - the Hawkeye state. The issue with the Raiders' defensive line last year wasn't that they struggled to force any push from the outside, it's that they struggled to get any sort of pressure on the outside and inside. Nixon is linked to the Raiders because the defensive line needs to improve at each position, but specifically the interior. Defensive end Maxx Crosby led all Raiders with 14 tackles for loss and linebacker Nicholas Morrow finished the season with eight. They're the only two Raiders who ranked in the top-100 players for that category.
The 300-pound behemoth is violent in the trenches with swim moves and clubs that'll leave you battered and bruised. His physicality, ability to clog running lanes, and fending off double teams make him a player that should rarely come off the field. Nixon boasts raw athleticism and even had a 71-yard pick-six against Penn State during his collegiate career. The Raiders need an electric playmaker in the middle of the line to impact the unit as a whole.
Jeremiah's list of prospects features the usual suspects (Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and Devonta Smith), but if you'd like to see the full breakdown, click here.