Raiders Trade Back in 3rd round, Draft Versatile Clemson LB

mike mayock jon gruden

Getty Jon Gruden & Mike Mayock of the Las Vegas Raiders.

There was a lot of chatter about the Las Vegas Raiders trying to make some trades during this year’s draft, but they decided to stick with their first four selections. They waited until their third pick in the third round to cut a deal with the New England Patriots to trade down and add more picks.

For moving down in the third and fifth rounds, the Raiders got an additional fourth-round pick. Considering the team nailed their fourth-round picks in 2019, it was a logical move for the team to make. Fourth rounds from last year included Isaiah Johnson, Maxx Crosby and Foster Moreau. The Raiders have high hopes for all three of those guys. Not a bad haul for the team as they didn’t have a ton of picks outside of the first three rounds. Don’t be surprised if the team tries to add some more picks as the draft goes on.

Raiders Select Tanner Muse With Patriots’ Pick

After avoiding Clemson players for the first four picks in the draft, the Raiders finally went back to the tried and true. With the 100th pick, Las Vegas selected linebacker Tanner Muse. Muse is a versatile player who can play both linebacker and safety. Here’s what Lance Zierlan of had to say in his analysis of Muse, who predicted him to get selected in the sixth round:

“Slow-footed safety with hybrid linebacker tendencies. Muse plays with tight, restricted movement that lacks necessary fluidity to handle coverage duties as an NFL safety and he’ll likely be asked to slide into a full-time linebacker role. He already has linebacker size and his frame should be able to handle additional weight if needed. His field agility and short-area athleticism aren’t anything special despite moving over from safety. Muse’s ability to cover tight ends and handle four-phase special teams duties improve his chances of making the backend of a roster.”

After taking Clelin Ferrell, Trayvon Mullen and Hunter Renfrow last year, it was just a matter of time before the Raiders looked at a Clemson player. One thing that will stick out about Muse is that if he does end up playing linebacker, he should be solid in coverage thanks to his experience as a safety. It was a theme in free agency for the Raiders to add linebackers who can cover.

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Tanner Muse Highlights [WATCH]

Taking Muse at 100 may have been a tad high, but Mike Mayock proved last year that he knows what he’s doing in the later rounds of the draft.

Tanner Muse 2019 Season Highlights | Clemson DBTanner Muse has been a mainstay for the Clemson defense and special teams during their dominant run over the past few seasons.  At the end of the 2019 season Muse was named first-team All-ACC, and third-team AP All-American.  He started all 15 games, recorded 55 tackles, 6 tackles-for-loss, and led the team in interceptions with…2020-02-21T00:50:27.000Z

Based on how the Raiders have drafted, it’s clear that they value versatility. Regardless of whether or not taking Muse in the third round was a reach, the team had success with Clemson players last season. The Raiders clearly trust the program to churn out solid offensive talent. Muse will have to make his mark on special teams where he should be a standout. He’ll also get some chances to play on defense but probably won’t be a starter anytime soon.

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