The Las Vegas Raiders have opened up the second day of action by trading up to take TCU safety Trevon Moehrig with the No. 43 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Raiders came into the draft with some notable voids to fill along the offensive and the secondary. General manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden opted to kick things off with the surprising selection of Alabama tackle Alex Leatherwood with the No. 17 overall pick.
Mayock hinted strongly that this team was leaning toward taking a safety in the early rounds. With the Dallas Cowboys also in the market for secondary help, Las Vegas wasted no time making it come to fruition by moving up five spots to slot ahead of them in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers.
Moehrig was pegged as one of the best safety prospects thanks to his versatility in coverage and the run game. He finished the 2020 campaign with 47 tackles, eight pass deflections, and two interceptions en route to Jim Thorpe Award honors, given the nation’s best defensive back.
Moehrig’s skill set makes him an ideal fit in new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s system, thanks to his ability to line up anywhere on the field. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed just 20 catches on 41 targets for 208 yards and one touchdown last season while recording 313 snaps inside the slot and 172 snaps at both safety positions.
The Raiders have invested some major draft capital in recent years to revamp the secondary with former first and second-round picks. Moehrig will be joining 2019 first-rounder Johnathan Abram over the top, while cornerbacks Damon Arnette and Trayvon Mullen are still looking to take that next step as former first and second-round picks, respectively. They also have another former first-round pick in Karl Joseph, helping to provide some quality depth over the top.