What a difference 24 hours can make.
After the NFL Draft’s first round, it’s safe to say that Las Vegas Raiders fans were not enthused. They decided to take Alex Leatherwood with the No. 17 pick despite him widely being considered a second-round pick. However, the team was able to redeem themselves on Friday by landing Trevon Moehrig in the second round.
Many were hoping he was going to be the pick in the first round but the Raiders remained patient and got their guy. Had the team taken Moehrig in the first and Leatherwood in the second, fans would’ve been over the moon from the beginning. Regardless, the team was able to fill their two biggest needs. Moehrig had the perfect reaction to getting drafted by the Raiders.
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Moehrig’s Versatility Sealed Deal for Raiders
Moehrig always seemed like one of the best fits for Las Vegas in the draft. He believes his versatility was a major selling point to the team.
“They talked about [my versatility] a lot,” Moehrig said Friday night. “They said it was the one thing they really liked about me, that they could move me and interchange me wherever they needed. So, that was a big thing for them was bringing my versatility and my tool belt to fill in at a bunch of positions.”
The Raiders needed a guy who can start at free safety immediately. Moehrig will likely have to beat out Jeff Heath to be the Week 1 starter this season but there’s no doubt the plan is for him to be the free safety of the future. However, he believes he’ll be ready to go really quickly.
“I think just coming from the college that I came from, TCU, and playing under [Head Coach Gary Patterson] who allowed me to play a bunch of different positions — especially roaming up there in the thirds — I think with his coaching background and helping me get to this point I’ll be able to transition pretty well,” Moehrig said.
The Raiders have been very open to starting rookies on defense in the past but Gus Bradley is taking over the defense. It remains to be seen how he’ll go about setting his starting lineup.
Moehrig Expects to Have Leadership Role
A big reason the Raiders have struggled on defense is a lack of leadership, especially in the secondary. They have a lot of youth at safety and cornerback, which has led to issues. Moehrig sounds like he’s ready to go in on Day 1 and step up as a leader.
“I was the quarterback of the defense, so I’m really confident coming in and taking that leadership role, commanding the defense and taking the reins,” Moehrig said. “I’m super cool with that, confident with it, and I’m just excited to be a starter.”
There’s no doubt his leadership ability played a role in why the Raiders traded up to get him. The team needs more alphas on defense who won’t accept mediocrity.