The Las Vegas Raiders just couldn’t help themselves and had to trade up to take another player out of Clemson. The team gave up the 121st pick and the 171st pick to the Detroit Lions to move to 109. With the pick, the Raiders selected offensive guard John Simpson out of Clemson.
Simpson is the second straight Clemson player the Raiders selected in this draft. That makes five in two drafts for the Raiders. The team clearly has an affinity for the Tigers. Simpson is a large human and he’s a powerful offensive lineman. His biggest drawback is that he’s very slow out of his stance. He’s also got issues with penalties.
That said, the Raiders will love his strength and athletism for a player of his size. The team has an abundance of good guards on the roster so Simpson won’t play a lot unless there are injuries. It will give him a good shot at refining his skills before he has to see the field.
Mayock Talks Clemson Players
Clemson has one of the best football programs in the country, so it’s not a mystery why the Raiders like taking talent from the team. The first Clemson player the team took this draft was linebacker Tanner Muse. After that selection, general manager Mike Mayock had a chance to talk about the college program.
“It’s hard to bookmark Clemson players, because there are so many of them,” Mayock said. “We watched the national championship game a year ago multiple times and Muse stood out.”
Last year, the Raiders took Clelin Ferrell, Trayvon Mullen and Hunter Renfrow out of Clemson. That worked out well for them during the season and the team doesn’t look like they want to reinvent the wheel this year. Muse and Simpson probably won’t play as much as the Clemson players did for the Raiders last year, but they could turn into solid role players.
Follow the Heavy Las Vegas Raiders page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Are Gabe Jackson Days Numbered?
Starting right guard Gabe Jackson has been on the trade block for months now, but it doesn’t seem like the Raiders are getting many takers. They’re reportedly willing to give him up for cheap, but his massive contract is scaring teams off. Las Vegas likes Jackson and he’s been a really good player for them. That said, the Raiders have now added several offensive guards this offseason who are a lot cheaper.
If Jackson was cheaper, he’d be around for a while longer. Unfortunately for him, the previous general manager was the one who gave him his big contract. He’s a good player and would probably be an upgrade at guard for most offensive lines. If he doesn’t get dealt during the draft, it’s very possible the Raiders just let him go as they wouldn’t take a cap hit. Jon Gruden has talked in the past about how he’s excited to have Jackson back healthy this season so there’s a chance he returns. However, it’s hard to know what the Raiders might do with him.