Las Vegas Raiders

Will Raiders’ Mayock Step Out of Comfort Zone and Draft a WR?

Regardless who the Las Vegas Raiders signal caller is in 2020, he’ll need quality wide receiver’s or they’ll struggle. It will be interesting to see if general manager Mike Mayock will go against the grain and pass on them with their first-round picks.

Raider Nation is becoming familiar with the names Ruggs, Lamb, Reagor, Higgins and Jeudy. It can be said that even though fans are salivating at the prospect of at least one of them joining the Silver and Black; they might want to take a closer look. Even if the team does take a chance on a free agent such as Robby Anderson, the popular consensus is the team would still need one of the aforementioned names.

Will Raiders’ Mayock Step Out of Comfort Zone and Draft a WR?

In spite of that, Mayock’s history has shown he isn’t too keen on taking a wide receiver so early. Last year’s fifth round pick Hunter Renfrow, ended up being a steal and showcased the general manager’s draft I.Q. It’s entirely plausible he goes defense early, which would no doubt raise some eyebrows. The point is that fans shouldn’t be surprised what road the general manager takes.

Vic Tafur of The Athletic recently wrote an article regarding Mayock possibly passing on a receiver as far as the first round is concerned.

Mayock has made no secret about the fact that he is wary of taking a receiver in the first round and he has the receipts to show that his concern is warranted. Hunter Renfrow, a fifth-round pick last year, had 49 catches for 605 yards for the Raiders. Mayock went back and checked, and only three of the 17 receivers picked in the first round the last five seasons had better numbers than Renfrow — who missed three games.

It’s astonishing to see how many receivers picked in the first round fall short of expectations. That’s not saying this year’s crop will go down the same path but history hasn’t been friendly as we can see. Taking one of the names I mentioned earlier would be “safe” yet I would argue there’s so much value in later rounds. Michael Pittman Jr. comes to mind, diamonds in the rust that will drop off for different reasons and I’d expect Mayock to pounce on those players.

“Mayock will be the first to tell you that the Raiders desperately need a receiver and he agrees that this is a uniquely talented and deep draft class. They should be able to get a starter with either of their two first-round selections — Nos. 12 and 19 — if they so choose…I’ve seen all these numbers about guys that are going to go in the first three rounds… So there’s depth throughout and there’s quality up top. On paper today, in February, that’s what we see.”

At the end of the day, it’s Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden who will decide if the defense should be the priority early in the draft. Who knows, maybe no one’s even paying attention to the fact the Raiders might find a way to land a “star” wide receiver via a trade or free agency, which would astronomically reduce the need to use said pick in the first round. However, it does sound like the scenario where I predicted they select two wide receivers in the first round might’ve been a pipe dream after all.

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