The Las Vegas Raiders didn’t spend much money to improve the defense so they’re going to rely heavily on some young players improving in their second year under defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. Safety Tre’von Moehrig looked like a future star in his first year with the team. However, the second-round pick declined significantly in his second year.
Moehrig was the 79th-ranked safety last season by Pro Football Focus and wasn’t drafted by current general manager Dave Ziegler. He could be in serious trouble if he doesn’t start to show improvement. Ziegler has already shown that he’s willing to move off of high draft picks by the previous regime. Mike Jones of The Athletic put together a list of players to watch during offseason workouts and singled out Moehrig. He believes the safety could be fighting for his roster spot.
“The 2021 second-round pick is a holdover from the Jon Gruden/Mike Mayock regime who has yet to live up to expectations,” Jones wrote. “After managing just one interception, 11 pass deflections and 110 combined tackles in two seasons, Moehrig very well could need a highly productive offseason to remain employed.”
Is Moehrig Just a Bad Fit Under Graham?
Moehrig had a reputation for being a ballhawk at TCU and had seven interceptions in three seasons. That hasn’t been the case in the NFL as he’s only picked off one pass. Moehrig looked good as a rookie under former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley but his zone defense doesn’t require as much from a free safety.
Graham runs a more aggressive system that runs more man coverage. Moehrig wasn’t nearly as successful in that system. It’s possible that he’s just not a good fit in the Raiders’ current defense. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad player. The Raiders selected him to be part of Bradley’s defense, not Graham’s. This current regime likely wouldn’t have selected Moehrig. That isn’t to say he can’t still have success. Perhaps a second year in the system is all he needed to improve. Moehrig taking a leap in Year 3 would be huge for the Raiders’ defense. The secondary is one of the biggest concerns on the roster but having a good free safety would help significantly.
Raiders Could Still Sign Marcus Peters
If the Raiders hope to compete this season, they still need to add some pieces on defense. Cornerback is a major area of concern. The team recently brought in former Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters for a visit but left without signing a deal. According to The Atheltic’s Vic Tafur, there’s still a chance the veteran could come to Las Vegas.
“Free agent Marcus Peters, 30, visited Las Vegas recently and left without a deal,” Tafur wrote. “It could still happen at some point, or the Raiders could bring in another veteran. The new regime struck out last year after acquiring Rock Ya-Sin by trade and signing Anthony Averett. As of today, newcomers Duke Shelley and David Long Jr. are penciled in as the starters on the outside with Nate Hobbs at nickleback.”
Peters is getting older and has an injury history but is still good enough to be a starter with the Raiders’ current group of cornerbacks.