The newly anointed Las Vegas Raiders entered the 2020 NFL Draft looking to build upon on one of the most successful draft classes in recent memory. With glaring needs at the WR and DB positions, the Raiders did not disappoint. If the 2019 class was about developing the foundation, 2020 was about bringing the sizzle.
Henry Ruggs III, WR, (Round 1, Pick 12)
With Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb still on the board, some fans like to compare the Ruggs selection to 2009 when they took track star Darrius Heyward-Bey seventh overall. Those people would be surely mistaken however, as Ruggs is more than a straight line burner with the ability to run any route in the tree. While he doesn’t have the lateral movement of his AFC West counterpart, Tyreek Hill, Ruggs speed is going to free up space for Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, and the rest of the Raiders offense.
Damon Arnette, CB, (Round 1, Pick 19)
The Player: Jackpot, The Pick: Bust
Damon Arnette, the player, has all of the ability and potential to be a solid starter in the NFL. Playing opposite to the drafts number 1 cornerback, Arnette held his own allowing only three TD passes against him in his collegiate career. Where this pick busts out is his overall selection. The Raiders lost their second round pick as part of the Khalil Mack trade and decided to stay put and take their highest graded CB, even though better value such as LB Patrick Queen and DE K’Lavon Chaisson were available. Had they had the 2nd rounder, don’t expect Arnette to be taken here.
Lynn Bowden Jr, RB/WR, (Round 3, Pick 80)
The Raiders offense lacked creativity in 2019. Enter Bowden, the RB/WR/QB combo who Gruden and Co. will have field day in figuring out how to deploy this young man. While some may call him a reach, drafting Day 1 playmakers is always a smart move with Bowden likely to take kick return duties and possibly free up a roster space due to his versatility.
Bryan Edwards, WR, (Round 3, Pick 81)
Some may disagree, but Edwards looks to be insurance for often injured WR Tyrell Williams rather than a playmaker. Couple in the fact the Raiders drafted two weapons and picked up TE Jason Witten and WR Nelson Agholor as well as midseason acquisition WR Zay Jones, the Edwards pick seems wasted here.
Tanner Muse, LB/S, (Round 3, Pick 100)
Possibly the steal of the draft, Muse will provide immediate impact as a special teamer and could develop into a nice hybrid player. Similar to his Clemson counterpart, Isaiah Simmons, Muse’s versatility eventually going to give offensive coordinators nightmares. While he may need some time to develop, Jon Gruden may have found his modern day John Lynch.
John Simpson, G, (Round 4, Pick 129)
Simpson is a mauler who aims to redshirt his rookie year behind the likes of Richie Incongnito and Gabe Jackson. Despite playing superb for the Clemson program, his skills are raw and he needs to be coached up. The Raiders however, are betting on Simpson becoming a 2021 starter, hence the double down grade.
Amik Robertson, CB, (Round 4, Pick 129)
Despite Robertson of everyone’s draft analyses, 5 foot 8 inches is extremely small for CB with limited speed to boot. While he’s going to get every opportunity to earn the nickel role, Robertson is coming off a groin injury and is going to have an uphill battle in what may be one of the deepest WR divisions.