Virginia Tech safety Divine Deablo was drafted in the third round with the No. 80 overall pick by the Las Vegas Raiders in the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday night.
Deablo was a three-year starter for the Hokies, playing both free safety and strong safety. His size and versatility are regarded as strengths, and the Raiders plan to use him as a weakside linebacker.
“I think if you look last year at some of the players that went in the second round that were kind of like him, the Chin kid went to Carolina in the second round and became their starting Will, and New England took a kid, in the second round from a small school and they used him in a bunch of ways that were kind of cool,” Raiders GM Mike Mayock said. “They used him at safety, as a dime linebacker, at nickel. I think the league is changing where you don’t have to define what the position is anymore on defense. I think that’s what he is.”
This marks the first time since 2008 that Virginia Tech has had three players selected in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. In 2008, Duane Brown (1), Brandon Flowers (2), Eddie Royal (2) and Chris Ellis (3) all went in the first three rounds.