Raiders select Pac-12 linebacker in midseason mock draft

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It’s way too early to start looking at mock drafts, right? It’s only Week 7 of the NFL season and the Raiders sit at 4-2 with a great shot of making the playoffs.

But admit it; it’s still kind of fun to look ahead to the 2022 NFL draft. Without Jon Gruden, we have no idea what the Raiders might be looking to do this offseason or what kind of players they may prefer.

In the past, it was Alabama, Ohio State or Clemson players early and that’s just about it. But with Mike Mayock now having full control of the board, the possibilities are endless.

In a recent mock draft by Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus, he had the Raiders selecting at pick No. 25, which means he believes they will make the playoff.

At that spot, he had them selecting linebacker Devin Lloyd from Utah. Here is what Sikkema had to say about the potential fit in Las Vegas:

“It’s hard to find many defenders who have truly transformed their game like Lloyd has over the past few seasons. He led his team in tackles during his first year as a starting linebacker in 2019, but his coverage grade was 60.2. The following season it was a 65.3 — better but still tough to trust. This season, not only is he still tackling well, but his coverage grade is an impressive 81.2, showing the full transformation of a weakness into a strength to his game.

The Raiders are older at linebacker with KJ Wright and Denzel Perryman both playing far too many snaps. And it doesn’t appear that Nick Kwiatoski is in their long-term plans.

Still, it would be a bit surprising for the Raiders to go linebacker after investing so much money and draft capital into the position. Instead, it makes more sense for the Raiders to continue to rebuild their offensive line or add more interior pass rush.

But Lloyd is a quality player who would fit Gus Bradley’s defense well. Keep an eye on the Pac-12 linebacker over the next few months as he tries to establish himself as a potential first-round pick in 2022.

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