The Las Vegas Raiders traded up in the second round to fill their second big need in the draft by taking TCU safety Trevon Moehrig with the 43rd pick.
The Raiders sent pick No. 48 and a fourth-round pick to San Francisco to move up five spots in the NFL draft on Friday night to get the safety they needed. Las Vegas also got a seventh-round pick in return.
The Raiders came into the draft with glaring needs at right tackle and free safety and filled them both with their first two picks by taking Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood in the first round and Moehrig in round two.
Moehrig is a versatile safety with strong ball skills and he gives new coordinator Gus Bradley the playmaker in the back of the defense that he needs.
He had seven interceptions in his career and led all safeties with 12 pass breakups in 2019 and eight in 2020, according to Pro Football Focus.
Moehrig will team with 2019 first-round strong safety Johnathan Abram, 2020 first-round cornerback Damon Arnette and 2019 second-round cornerback Trayvon Mullen in a young secondary.
The Raiders are counting on big growth from the three returning young players and a big impact from Moehrig to improve a defense that has ranked last in the NFL in points allowed (28.4 per game) and second worst in yards per play allowed (6.05) since coach Jon Gruden returned in 2018.
Las Vegas also added pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue in free agency to help bolster a suspect pass rush.
The Raiders also have picks 79 and 80 in the third round and then four picks on Saturday with two in the fifth round, one in the sixth and one in the seventh.
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