Safety looks to be one of the biggest question marks for the Las Vegas Raiders entering the 2021 NFL Draft. Second-year strong safety Johnathan Abram returns after missing 15 games last season coming off a season-ending injury against Denver in Week 1. The hard-hitting safety should carve out a starting role if he can stay healthy. Opposite Abram will be Damarious Randall who joined the team on a one year deal as a free agent.
Randall, a former first-round selection by the Green Bay Packers spent his last two seasons in Cleveland and should compliment Abram in an improving Raider defense. The Raiders have put plenty of draft capital into their secondary between the first-round picks on Abram and Arnette the past two seasons, while spending a second on Trayvon Mullen in 2019 and an additional third and fourth-round selection this past draft on Tanner Muse and Amik Robertson, respectively.
Upgrading at safety could be the final piece in what the Raiders hope will become one of the top secondaries in the league the next several seasons. A long-term cover safety opposite Abram could be that final piece. Given the fall of safeties in recent drafts, the Las Vegas Raiders could be in a position to take the first safety off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Jevon Holland is a versatile nickel-safety hybrid that can play deeper in the secondary or line up at the line of scrimmage. Holland started all 13 games as a true freshman at Oregon and led the team with five interceptions. He followed up on an outstanding freshman season and earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors last fall, bringing in an additional four interceptions and accounted for 66 tackles, including 4.5 for a loss.
Holland enters the 2020 season as one of the best returning defensive backs in the country and could develop into a first-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. Holland is a tremendous athlete and possesses strong positional awareness. If he can develop into a standalone safety, the talented defensive back and special teamer could be the first safety selected.