Las Vegas Raiders 7-round 2021 NFL mock draft: Big defensive upgrades

The Indianapolis Colts select Azeez Ojulari in the first round of this 2021 NFL mock draft (Photo by Joshua L. Jones-USA TODAY NETWORK)
The Indianapolis Colts select Azeez Ojulari in the first round of this 2021 NFL mock draft (Photo by Joshua L. Jones-USA TODAY NETWORK) /
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Azeez Ojulari, Las Vegas Raiders, NFL mock draft
The Las Vegas Raiders select Azeez Ojulari in the first round of this NFL mock draft (Photo by Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports) /

With a relatively ugly cap situation, the Las Vegas Raiders are going to have to make a majority of their improvements through the 2021 NFL Draft this offseason. While the Raiders have needs on both sides of the ball, it is their defense in particular that needs the most work.

Las Vegas allowed 29.9 points per game last season, the third-most in the entire league. They have hired Gus Bradley to replace Paul Guenther as defensive coordinator and he should help stabilize the unit. That being said, the Las Vegas Raiders still have major needs at all three levels of the defense and finding impact defensive talent will be the Raiders’ priority in this seven-round 2021 NFL mock draft.

Can the Raiders make these much-needed improvements on the defensive side of the ball and still address their offensive needs? Find out as we go seven rounds deep with the team in this complete 2021 NFL mock draft.

Note: This 2021 NFL mock draft was completed using the Mock Draft Simulator over at NFL Mock Draft Database.

The Las Vegas Raiders kick off this 2021 NFL mock draft with a trade. When they went on the clock at No. 17, there were plenty of worthy options available so looking at trade down options made the most sense. The Raiders were able to swing a deal with the Tennessee Titans here, moving back to No. 22 from No. 17. In exchange for moving back, the Raiders pick up a third-round selection from Tennessee.

Las Vegas Raiders 2021 NFL mock draft: Round 1, 22nd overall

Scouting Report. player. 814. Azeez Ojulari. 1. Pick Analysis. EDGE. Georgia

After trading down to No. 22, the Las Vegas Raiders select Azeez Ojulari, an exciting edge rusher out of Georgia. The Raiders are going to have to improve their defensive line situation this offseason. Gus Bradley does not blitz often, primarily leaving the task of creating pressure to the front four. While they do have some interesting pieces up front, improvements are needed if they expect to have success under the direction of Bradley.

Ojulari is an extremely quick and athletic edge rusher who has massive upside at the next level. He wins with an explosive first step, good hand usage and tremendous flexibility around the corner. While Ojulari’s athleticism gives him exciting upside at the next level, do not sleep on his power and physicality up front.

Ojulari uses his strong hands and long arms well against the run, consistently setting a strong edge and filling gaps at a high level. He shows impressive on-field instincts and consistently plays with a hot motor. Simply put, Ojulari has exciting upside as a three-down edge defender at the next level and would be an ideal target for the Raiders in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.