If draft picks were graded on names alone, the Raiders arguably took the best player in the draft.
Divine Deablo, named Divine to give balance to his last name, was available in the middle of the third round, and the Raiders wasted little in drafting a safety they believe could be their next Will linebacker. Based on his size, strength and ability to get to the ball, the Raiders might be onto something.
The All-ACC defensive back has already shown his ability to be able to switch positions going from wide receiver at his high school in Winston-Salem to safety at Virginia Tech. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound prospect made the transition with ease and feels he can do the same with the transition to linebacker.
"I like to think I'm just a football player," Deablo said. "I can do it all. I challenge myself mentally. I like to know everyone's position."
After a pandemic-shortened senior season that saw him rack up 55 tackles and four interceptions, Deablo used the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama and his Pro Day to rise his draft stock. He believes that his performances at both put Mike Mayock and the Raiders on notice, running a 4.42 40-yard dash at his Pro Day and being named a captain in the Senior Bowl.
"Last year they didn't have Pro Day, so a lot of guys missed out on the opportunity, but I had two extra opportunities. So, at Senior Bowl, like I said, they moved me to linebacker down there and I feel like I showed my potential at that position, and Pro Day, I just showed what I could do athletically. And that just caught the Raiders attention and thankful they picked me up."
Deablo, like the other three prospects that were drafted by the Raiders this year, has never been to Las Vegas before. Despite never having been to the Silver State, he's looking forward to two things the most – fine dining in the desert and getting to work in a Silver and Black uniform.
He definitely should be considered a heavenly draft pick for the Raiders.
With the 80th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders select defensive back Divine Deablo.