2021 NFL Draft 1st round, 17th overall
The Raiders under Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock have not exactly gone according to any sort of consensus board with their selections.
They march to the beat of their own drum, and no one really knows what they’re going to do when they’re on the clock in the NFL Draft.
With that said, this particular selection could be considered a bit out of left field as a Gruden/Mayock pick would normally be.
Alijah Vera-Tucker has excelled this season playing left tackle and has excelled before playing left guard. The interior offensive line could soon need some work for the Raiders, and they may highly value his positional flexibility just in case.
Gabe Jackson was a rumored trade candidate leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft, and with Richie Incognito landing on IR this year, the Raiders will want to ensure that the offensive line doesn’t skip a beat.
The success of the line is paramount to the success of this offense, which flows through running back Josh Jacobs.
Adding a player like Vera-Tucker would give the Raiders an all-first round PAC-12 left side of the line.