Raiders trade for Dolphins’ linebacker Raekwon McMillan

Raiders, Raekwon McMillan (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Raiders, Raekwon McMillan (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Las Vegas Raiders have reportedly traded for Miami Dolphins linebacker Raekwon McMillan.

The Las Vegas Raiders continue to overhaul their linebacker position, this time through the trade market with the acquisition of now-former Miami Dolphins linebacker, Raekwon McMillan.

As first reported by Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, the Dolphins will be sending the fourth-year linebacker to the Raiders in exchange for a swap of mid-round draft picks.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter later came in with the compensation for the deal which indicates that the Raiders will send a 2021 fourth-round pick to the Dolphins in exchange for McMillan and a 2021 fifth-round pick.

So essentially, Las Vegas trades back a round and acquires another linebacker to add to their growing depth.

A second-round pick back in the 2017 NFL Draft, McMillan missed his entire rookie season after tearing his ACL in the very first preseason game.

However, he returned in 2018 and regained the starting role that he was supposed to have in his rookie season. McMillan would start all 16 games earning a subpar 60.2 Pro Football Focus grade.

But it should be noted that while his overall grade was relatively poor, his run defense grade of 78.5 was among the better grades at his position. Unfortunately, it was his abysmal 42.0 coverage grade that dragged his overall rating down.

That theme would repeat itself in 2019 where he played in 13 games before ending up on the injured reserve in December following a hamstring injury.

What role will Raekwon McMillan play with the Raiders?

McMillan isn’t going to take time away from either Cory Littleton or Nick Kwiatkoski, who the Raiders signed in the offseason as part of their complete linebacker makeover.

Instead, he’ll compete for time as the third linebacker in the base defense where his lackluster coverage skills won’t be exposed as much.

The 24-year-old is a typical old-school, thumping linebacker who’s much better suited in run defense than in pass coverage. And given the role he’ll likely be asked to play, it sure seems like he’s a good fit.

Now, it should be noted that McMillan is on the final year of his rookie deal so there’s no guarantee he sticks around past this season.

But at least for now, he will likely step in as a starting linebacker in the base defense. His biggest threats for that job are Nicholas Morrow and rookie Tanner Muse, but neither has done much to stand out to this point.

There’s also undrafted rookie Javin White who has arguably been the star of training camp. However, he may be destined for the practice squad given the abundance of depth in front of him.

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Paul Guenther and the Raiders couldn’t help themselves — they had to get an old-school linebacker on the roster.

And Raekwon McMillan will give them just that.