With the 2021 NFL Draft in the books, the Las Vegas Raiders used their final pick to take Pitt center Jimmy Morrissey in the seventh round.
The biggest changes to the roster began up front in Las Vegas this offseason with the departures of tackle Trent Brown, guard Gabe Jackson and center Rodney Hudson. Although the Raiders found replacements for each position, it remains to be seen who will be tasked with filling the void left by Hudson.
While Las Vegas has high hopes for Andre James, they brought in some competition in the form of Nick Martin to battle it out as the anchor in the middle. Regardless, it appears Morrissey does not plan to shy away from the opportunity.
Morrissey has come a long way since his days as a walk-on at the University of Pittsburgh. He feels this has prepared him to play on the big stage at Allegiant Stadium.
“I think the only way you get experience is by actually playing,” Morrissey said. “So, obviously I have a lot of it. I’ve been fortunate enough to play a lot of ball at Pitt. I’ve loved every game I’ve played in and all those snaps, it’s definitely made me the player I am today. And I’m extremely comfortable under pressure. I’ve played a lot of guys, everyone from first round picks to free agents, so I’ve seen a lot. A lot of different schemes and teams and different kinds of players. So, I definitely feel like I’m more prepared right now than I ever will be in my life for taking that next leap in my life to the NFL.”
It is encouraging to see that Morrissey is so confident in his ability to make that jump to the next level. Even though he will likely be battling for a spot on the final roster this offseason, it is evident that he is hoping to make an immediate impact.
One of the biggest concerns with Morrissey during the draft process was his track record with injuries after missing some time in 2018 due to an ankle issue. However, the Raiders have plenty of confidence in their ability to develop offensive lineman that were overlooked when they first entered the league.
This was certainly the case with James, who is now expected to start at center after coming into the NFL as an undrafted free agent. Morrissey will have a chance to provide some quality depth until he shows he can take that next step.