With the NFL Draft approaching, the time to start detailing mock drafts. Granted, you will see many of them flash across your phones. Why should you read ours? Honestly, there isn’t a fanboy aspect that presents the Las Vegas Raiders picks that will cover all of their needs. Remember, free agency arrives before the draft and the team possesses millions under the cap. Instead, these picks could represent a youthful base for the incoming veterans to mentor
Pick 12 ( Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama)
Look at the current group of wide receivers. Outside of Hunter Renfrow, who settled into a slot role, which wideouts strike fear into opposing secondaries? None. Williams, Jones, et al, lack the dynamism of a true number one. Meanwhile, Jeudy would step on the field as the number one wideout and new favorite target. Besides speed, which the Raiders sorely need, Jeudy runs pristine routes and demonstrates the elite technique in and out of breaks.
Key Raiders 2019 WR Stat
Tyrell Williams tallied 11 yards before the catch. The only Raider with more than ten catches to average in double figures.
Pick 19 (Jordan Love, QB, Utah State)
When word spilled out about the Raiders showing interest in Tom Brady’s potential free agency. Adam Schefter mentioned that interest originates from Las Vegas. If the team shows outward interest, this does not bode well for Derek Carr. No matter how you slice this. He’s reached his ceiling within this offense. Leave feelings out of it. In contrast, Jon Gruden just watched Lamar Jackson win the MVP and Patrick Mahomes win the Super Bowl. Now, Love is not in the class immediately. He does boast a strong arm and the mobility to extend drives. Also, Love could give Gruden his missing piece: a young quarterback to mold and shape. Love provides a glimpse into the future.
Key Raiders 2019 QB Stat
Derek Carr threw seven touchdowns to five interceptions during the second half of games in 2019
Pick 80 (Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State)
The Raiders will sign a linebacker or two in free agency. In all honesty, after all of these years, I don’t trust the team to draft a linebacker early. Granted, they definitely need to. yet, Paul Guenther echoed the same belief of Reggie McKenzie, preferring to ignore early linebackers. Enter Harrison. Harrison profiles as a banger that could thrive in the middle of the defense. He fights through blocks with strength, while possessing the nimble feet to thrive in pursuit. Plus, when will the Raiders stop throwing anyone at linebacker?
Key Raiders 2019 LB Stat: The Raiders missed 22 tackles from the linebacker spot in 2019.
Pick 81 (Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State)
At best, Darryl Worley is a backup corner. On the outside, quicker wideouts give him fits. he lacks the twitch and mirror to effectively shadow quicker wideouts. Dantzler’s length and fluidity would earn him a starting spot on the other side from Trayvon Mullen. Paul Guenther prefers long-armed corners that can stay with a various array of wideouts. Dantzler’s quicks could help him versus Tyreek Hill. Meanwhile, his height and length suit him against bigger wideouts like Courtland Sutton and Mike Williams.
Key Raiders 2019 CB Stat
Other than Trayvon Mullen, the Raiders surrendered eleven touchdown catches from corners opposite of him.
Pick 91 (Kyle Dugger, Hybrid, Lenoir-Rhyne)
Jonathan Abram enters 2020 without a suitable compliment at safety. Moreover, the Raiders’ subpackage rotation lacks a viable option in covering tight ends, backs, and the occasional wideout. Dugger, the former Division II standout gives Paul Guenther a chess piece to move around in various situations. Imagine a player big enough to fight with Travis Kelce down the seam, but turn around and shadow Austin Ekeler out of the backfield. Additionally, Dugger displays excellent ball skills. He will either pick it or force a fumble.
Key 2019 Raiders Coverage Stat
Erik Harris and Karl Joseph combined to give up five touchdown catches and 15 missed tackles.
Pick 111 (Jason Strowbridge, DL, North Carolina)
Outside of Maxx Crosby and flashes of Mo Hurst, what can the Raiders boast among the front four? In all honesty, you need to add in Clelin Ferrell. Like it or not, he’s tired to this team via his draft status. Arden Key continued to just look the part. Strowbridge brings an aspect to the defensive line that many of the Raiders lack: power. His bull rush stands up guards, pushing them right into the backfield. More importantly, he shows a good get-off from the snap. Despite weighing 285 pounds, Strowbridge could funnel out to the occasional end but looks at home as a defensive tackle. PJ Hall needs to be pushed for playing time.
Key Raiders 2019 Raiders DL Stat
Maxx Crosby and Benson Mayowa combined for 53 percent of the team’s sacks.
Pick 141 (Lamical Perine, RB, Florida)
If you’ve watched the Raiders since Gruden’s return, he never changed. He loves the running game. More precisely, the no-nonsense, downhill, falling forward style behind a dominant offensive line. In Josh Jacobs, Gruden sees his workhorse that fits that mold. Yet, behind him, nothing of the sort exists. DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard do not profile as Gruden backs. Perine’s approach to carrying the ball is to get north and south immediately, then use burst to run away from defenders. Plus, his size lines up well to Jacobs.
Key Raiders 2019 RB Stat
Neither Jalen Richard or DeAndre Washington averaged 2 yards after contact.