Raiders 2021 mock draft: Upgrading all levels of the defense

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Christian Barmore, 2021 NFL Draft, Raiders prospect

Christian Barmore, 2021 NFL Draft prospect. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders 2021 mock draft: Upgrading all levels of the defense.

It was a brutal finish to the 2020 season for the Las Vegas Raiders.

After a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, it looked like the Raiders had perhaps turned a corner in year three under Jon Gruden as the team’s head coach. Unfortunately, things didn’t exactly work out.

The Raiders may have found a way to beat the mighty Chiefs, but they failed to make the playoffs despite winning six of their first nine games. A total collapse by the defense down the stretch and some clunkers from the offense can be blamed.

The Raiders have to get it right in the 2021 NFL Draft and the offseason as a whole. They have apparently interviewed Kris Richard and Gus Bradley for their vacant defensive coordinator job, so it looks like they are going to try for a Seattle flavor there.

Here’s how they can upgrade the defense in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Raiders 2021 mock draft: 1st round

1
Christian Barmore
DL Alabama

Christian Barmore is a young, hulking presence on the interior defensive line and the latest in Alabama’s long line of big-time defensive line prospects to come forth from their program.

Although he has plenty of room for growth in terms of his technique and playing the game at a mental level, Barmore is so physically gifted it will be impossible for teams to ignore his potential in the early goings of the 2021 NFL Draft.

For the Raiders, a player like Barmore could be of huge help because they need to upgrade their pass rush from the inside out.

Barmore is listed at 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, but frankly, he looks like he is much bigger than that compared to the guys he goes up against.

His physical stature is imposing, but it’s Barmore’s ability to finish behind the line of scrimmage that is truly scary.

The MVP of the National Championship game (defensively) finished the 2020 season at Alabama with 37 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks, and three forced fumbles. He’s going to be a force before too long and his combination of size, hand strength, and quickness reminds me of Chris Jones (Chiefs).

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