On the clock: Pick No. 7: Las Vegas Raiders – Devon Witherspoon, Cornerback, Illinois
Mock Draft 1.0 – Quentin Johnston, Wide Receiver, TCU
Mock Draft 2.0 – Christian Gonzalez, Cornerback, Oregon
The Las Vegas Raiders are one of the teams that could shape the draft depending on which direction they’re going. They’re in a difficult division and need immediate impact from their draft picks to have any chance of the playoffs, so a quarterback isn’t likely here. The team has invested in Jimmy Garoppolo and are ready to win now and cornerback is a big position of need. They’re likely to have their pick of corner here.
Witherspoon was slightly undersized at the NFL Scouting Combine (5-foot-11, 181 pounds) but plays a lot bigger than his size indicates. He’s had a lot of positive momentum entering the draft and could even be the first cornerback off the board depending on the team.
A versatile scheme corner who can play either as a man or zone-based corner, Witherspoon had three interceptions and 14 pass breakups for Illinois in 2022. A great tackler with tremendous ball skills and the ability to play in the slot, he looks set for a good career.
Witherspoon may not have the traditional and prototypical size of a No. 1 corner that teams crave, but his ability to shut down receivers and play bigger than his height would indicate has excited teams. If he falls out of the top 10, he won’t be waiting long to have his name called.