TCU safety Trevon Moehrig surprisingly fell out of the first round during the 2021 NFL Draft this past weekend. Widely regarded as the top safety prospect in his class, Moehrig wasn’t even the first safety selected, but the Horned Frog defensive back eventually heard his name called to the Las Vegas Raiders with the 43rd overall selection in the draft.
The 6-foot-2, 203-pound free safety will now find himself playing under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley head coach Jon Gruden, whose Raiders are 19-29 over the first three years of his 10-year, $100 million contract. While Las Vegas appears to be trending in the right direction as far as records are concerned, the Raiders fielded arguably the worst pass defense in the league this past season.
Raiders pick the # 1 safety in the NFL Draft Trevon Moehrig— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 30, 2021
Highest-graded safety vs ranked teams in 2020 pic.twitter.com/zqRqHQzm09
Enter Trevon Moehrig, the 2020-21 Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s top defensive back. Moehrig should compete right away with veteran safety Jeff Heath, whose contract expires after the 2021-22 season, for the team’s starting job. Las Vegas ranked 26th in pass defense last season, allowing over 263 yards per game through the air, while also finishing 30th in points allowed per game at 29.9.
#Raiders Trevon Moehrig: "I was the quarterback of the defense, so pretty confident coming in and taking that leadership role...confident with it and just excited to be a starter."— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) May 1, 2021
The Raiders feature one of the younger secondaries in the NFL including two 2019 draft picks in Johnathan Abram (24) and Trayvon Mullen (23) as well as 2020 first-rounder Damon Arnette (24). Oddly enough, Las Vegas selected Tyree Gillespie, another free safety, with their 2021 fourth-round selection. Unless the Raiders release Heath or move someone to strong safety, there could be a potential logjam for playing time at free safety.
Trevon Moehrig: "I talked to the #Raiders early on. Had multiple interviews and talked to the whole defensive coaching stuff. I'm pumped and super excited."— Anthony Galaviz (@agalaviz_TheBee) May 1, 2021
Writers appear to have very favorable reviews of the Moehrig selection, which will hopefully bode well for his fit with the Las Vegas defense. Ian Rapaport wrote that Moehrig fell in the draft because of a back injury that has been holding him back since his Pro Day. Moehrig had no issues staying on the field at TCU, so this news shouldn’t discourage Raider fans. Ultimately, Moehrig will be an immediate upgrade to a mediocre pass defense with a lot of youth and potential for growth.