Raiders Rumors: LV's 2021 Draft, Trades Ripped as 'Fantasy Football' by NFL Agent

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 24, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 21:  Head coach Jon Gruden (L) and general manager Mike Mayock of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrate on the field after the Raiders defeated the New Orleans Saints 34-24 in the NFL game at Allegiant Stadium on September 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

One NFL agent offered a withering assessment of the Las Vegas Raiders' offseason.

The Athletic's Ben Standig canvassed 33 different agents on a number of different topics, and three said the Raiders had the most disappointing offseason of any team.

"I don’t understand the moves they made," one of the respondents said. "It’s like they’re trying to do what they’re not supposed to in drafts and trades. It comes across as fantasy football."

Alabama offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood and TCU safety Trevon Moehrig headlined the team's haul from the 2021 NFL draft. The Raiders took two safeties in the later rounds (Virginia Tech's Divine Deablo and Missouri's Tyree Gillespie) as well.

Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report gave Las Vegas a C-minus grade for its draft, calling Leatherwood "a laughable reach in Round 1." He also said it was "hard to be inspired by this draft."

Prior to the draft, the Raiders raised some eyebrows when they overhauled their offensive line, trading away Trent Brown, Gabe Jackson and Rodney Hudson. Signing Kenyan Drake to a two-year, $11 million deal was also puzzling since they already had Josh Jacobs in their backfield.

The Raiders' personnel moves in recent seasons haven't helped the general perception of the team-building approach of head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock.

The Raiders took Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 overall pick in 2019, but he has only 6.5 sacks through two seasons. Neither of the team's 2020 first-rounders, Henry Ruggs III and Damon Arnette, played up to expectations as rookies, either. And Las Vegas traded Lynn Bowden Jr. only months after selecting him in the third round of the 2020 draft.

Perhaps Mayock and Gruden will be vindicated with the Raiders' performance on the field in 2021. But the latter in particular hasn't earned the benefit of the doubt so far after having failed to guide the franchise to a winning season in his first three years back at the helm.