The 2020 NFL Draft, which will be held in Las Vegas and is now the home of the Raiders, marks one of the most important events in team history.
Why is it so important? Because the Raiders have an opportunity to address some key positions with potentially game changing talent that can also turn the franchise around. The plethora of playmakers in this year’s class makes for some interesting scenarios to say the least. For all intents and purposes, this mock assumes there will be no trades, which of course can happen as it did last year.
For now, let’s take a look at the 1.0 version of this full seven round mock scenario.
Round 1, Pick No. 12 Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
The Raiders desperately need help at linebacker and putting a band-aid on this problem won’t do anymore. The explosive six-foot-four linebacker from Clemson would be joining former Tigers Clelin Ferrell, Hunter Renfrow, and Trayvon Mullen. General manager Mike Mayock obviously puts value on championship pedigree and Simmons has that. His versatility alone would pay dividends in Paul Guenther’s defense as The Draft Network points out:
His unbelievable length and athletic gifts make him a sensible fit for a number of positions, including MIKE, SAM, SS and a nickel LB in coverage. Simmons has explosive qualities and will be an asset vs. the run and pass alike.
The Silver and Black cannot afford to pass up on such a game-changing talent if he’s still there at number 12. Raider Nation would finally be able to breathe a sigh of relief with the linebacker position finally getting addressed.
Round 1, Pick No. 19 Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
It doesn’t matter whether it’s Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, or Teddy Bridgewater, the Raiders need a long-term answer at quarterback not a stop gap solution. Las Vegas needs a signal-caller than can lead the team for another decade and beyond, Eason could be the one. The six-foot-six, 227 pound risk-taker from Washington may be that answer. Head coach Jon Gruden would be entrusted with developing Eason, and while he’s never developed a rookie (successfully), this might be his guy. The Draft Network said it best when describing his confidence as a quarterback:
Eason has the confidence levels to try to throw a football through a coin slot. There’s zero hesitancy with attempting throws into cramped throwing windows. He has plenty of juice to make throws at all levels of the field.
As I’ve said before, taking a quarterback early is high-risk high-reward but then again, imagine if that high-reward alters the future of the Raiders in Vegas. Tempting to say the least.