What the Las Vegas Raiders do with their first round picks will hinge on their free agency moves and more importantly, the direction that they take with the quarterback position. Let’s say Derek Carr heads into Allegiant Stadium as the starter, the offense will then need major reinforcements.
One thing about this scenario is that it might happen if the Raiders decide not to pursue any big name wide receivers this upcoming offseason. Whether in free agency or via a trade, their next option may be to load up via the draft. The running game is set with Josh Jacobs and Alec Ingold. Also, and they have tight end Darren Waller. You could make the case for them to look at a guard, but I don’t see general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden using a first rounder on one.
Lastly, I predict that CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy will be gone by then, so let’s delve into this plausible scenario.
#12 Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Perhaps, not many are crazy about this pick, but Ruggs is definitely a calling to the Raiders of old under the legendary Al Davis. Why is that? Speed. His 4.25 40 yard dash at his junior Pro Day was impressive to say the least. His physical stature isn’t exactly eye popping at six foot even but his velocity and acceleration more than make up for it.
Jacob Infante of Draft Wire summed it beautifully when he said, “Speed kills in today’s NFL, and Ruggs has that in spades.” Assuming Carr is the quarterback next year, he’d love to have someone with this type of breakaway speed on Sundays.
#19 Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
Two wide receivers in the first round? Why not. Other than Hunter Renfrow, none of the receivers currently on the Raiders roster should make it to Vegas. Shenault alongside Ruggs and Renfrow could prove to be downright nasty.
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The six-foot-two wide receiver from Colorado who weighs in at 220 pounds was once dubbed “Julio Jones, only bigger” by an NFL scout of Bleacher Report. Colorado head coach Mel Tucker had high praise for his former player as well.
“Some guys are your speed, go [route] guys,” he continues now. “Some are your slants. Some are your highpoint-and-go-get-the-ball. Some are your guys that can go over the middle. Or size and strength and run-after-the-catch guys.This kid is everything rolled into one.”
In his sophomore and junior years alone, Shenault had great numbers. He totaled 27 touchdowns, ten through the air and seven on the ground, 142 receptions, and 1,775 receiving yards. This level of production will translate into the NFL and with a revamped wide receiver corps like this, it’s possible that Carr will be able to lead the Raiders back to playoffs.
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