A day after many believe the Las Vegas Raiders reached to take an offensive lineman in the first round, they traded up to take a defensive standout who had fallen into the second round.
Las Vegas, which traded up five spots in the second round with the San Francisco 49ers, selected Texas Christian University safety Trevon Moehrig with the No. 43 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday.
Along with with the second-round pick swap, the Raiders sent pick No. 121 (fourth round) to the Niners and acquired a seventh-round selection (No. 230).
While Leatherwood was NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah's No. 62-ranked prospect, Moehrig was one of the highest-touted players left on Day 2 and ranked 16th.
However, Moehrig's availability at No. 43 is likely for a reason as he injured his back during training, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Moehrig wore tape on his back during workouts, which drew the notice of scouts and clearly affected his stock -- even more so after an MRI unveiled some issues, Rapoport reported.
If healthy, though, Moehrig projects to aid in remedying a long-ailing Raiders defense. The 2020 Jim Thorpe Award winner is versatile and has great fundamentals and a great mind for the game. He offers a complete package as a defender and should quickly improve Vegas' pass defense and back end.
Las Vegas continued its efforts of improving its defense on Day 2, selecting defensive end Malcolm Koonce out of Buffalo and safety/linebacker Divine Deablo in back-to-back third-round picks at No. 79 and No. 80, respectively. Interestingly enough, Koonce will look to improve a long-suffering pass rush that's struggled since the trade of Khalil Mack, who the Raiders drafted out of Buffalo, as well.