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ASU DT Nesta Jade Silvera drafted by Raiders with 231st overall pick

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The Las Vegas Raiders selected ASU defensive tackle Nesta Jade Silvera in the seventh round with the 231st overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, making him the first Sun Devil to come off the board in the draft.

Silvera was the Sun Devils’ lone participant in the NFL combine. He transferred to play for ASU this season after four with Miami, and appeared in all 12 games, recording 56 tackles for the Sun Devils (fourth on the team) and was tied for first on the team with 4.5 tackles for loss. His play led to him earning honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors. He was ranked as the No. 3 defensive linemen transfer coming over to ASU after accumulating over 30 tackles in each of his last two seasons with the Hurricanes.

Silvera was the consensus No. 259 overall player and projected to go in the seventh round, according to NFL Mock Draft Database. He was the highest-rated Sun Devil going into the draft. ESPN had him as the No. 21 defensive tackle prospect. In addition to the combine, he also played in the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Last season, ASU defensive tackle D.J. Davidson was selected 127th overall by the Giants, making Silvera the second straight defensive tackle drafted from ASU. The Sun Devils also recently saw DT Renell Wren drafted in the fourth round in 2019.

ASU players to watch in NFL Draft

Combine Results

At the combine, Silvera was listed at 6-foot-2, 304 pounds, and his arm measurement was 32 7/8” and hand measurement was 9 7/8”. He ran a 5.16 second 40-yard dash, 1.77 second 10-yard split, had a 29.5” vertical jump and 9’2″ broad jump. His total combine score was 60, which ranked 16th among DTs. 

NFL.com Bio

His bio on NFL.com

“Silvera, a Miami-area native, signed with the Hurricanes as a top-50 overall recruit and two-time state champ with American Heritage High School. Silvera played in 10 games as a reserve (13 tackles, 1.5 for loss) in 2018. A foot injury limited him in 2019, when he made 19 tackles with one sack coming off the bench for the final nine games. He bounced back in 2020, however, garnering honorable mention All-ACC notice (35 tackles, eight for loss with one sack in 11 games, 10 starts). Silvera started eight of 11 contests played in 2021 (38 tackles, 5.5 for loss) and entered the transfer portal after the season. He signed with Arizona State, earning honorable mention All-Pac-12 Conference honors by starting 10 of 12 games played for the Sun Devils (56 tackles, 4.5 for loss with 1.5 sacks, three pass breakups). — by Chad Reuter”

Scouting Report

Draft Network’s scouting report on Silvera:

“Silvera may not have ideal length, but he more than makes up for it with overwhelming strength. His upper-body strength will leave you wide-eyed, as his physical dominance in the run game often made him look like a man amongst boys. He pairs his brute strength with a quick get-off, allowing him to quickly reset the line of scrimmage in his favor. He does a solid job of diagnosing run schemes early in the play and then adjusting his technique to stop it, such as reading reach blocks or anchoring down against playside double teams in gap runs. Once able to read the play, Silvera uses his quick lateral mobility to disrupt and deconstruct blocks. His combination of strength, short-area quickness, and his refusal to be blocked makes him an immediate early-down contributor for whatever team drafts him.

His abilities as a pass rusher extend to being physically stronger than everyone else. Purely as a penetrator using a bull rush, Silvera can quickly cause havoc in the pass game, but asking him to be a three-down interior lineman would be overreaching his capabilities. He doesn’t display much of an arsenal of pass-rush moves, mostly referring to his bull rush to make his presence known. For teams looking for a run-stuffing and physically-ready interior defensive lineman to throw in on first and second down, Silvera will be just about as good as they come in the middle rounds of the draft.”

Silvera’s experience could make him an able contributor on the interior of the Raiders’ defensive line right away.

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Brendan Mau is a college sports insider and general assignment reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on twitter via @Brendan_Mau

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