With free agency slowing down, NFL teams will focus on signing bargains and adding depth. The Las Vegas Raiders aren’t any different and will now turn most of their attention to the 2020 NFL Draft.
After fortifying their linebacker corps and strengthening their defensive line, the Raiders can work on improving the rest of the roster. Wider receiver, the secondary and possibly quarterback seem like the most logical positions to target in the draft.
Hunter Renfrow was a revelation in his rookie year and Tyrell Williams can stretch the field effectively, but the former is better served in the slot and the latter couldn’t stay healthy last year. The Raiders need reinforcements at wide receiver and more than that, a number one playmaker. Nelson Agholor is just a depth move and there isn’t much talent behind Renfrow and Williams. Las Vegas will have their choice of prospects; they could select top echelon players such as Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs III or wait until later rounds for Michael Pittman Jr. and similar wide outs.
The Raiders added Jeff Heat in the first wave of free agency and Johnathan Abram should be fully healthy in 2020. Also, Trayvon Mullen should break out in his sophomore season. Nonetheless, they need to infuse their secondary with talent. They gave up on Karl Joseph, Curtis Riley is a liability and fan favorite Erik Harris is limited albeit a leader on the field. There won’t be many playmakers in the first round but Jeffrey Okhuda and Xavier McKenney are worth a look. Jeremy Chinn and Anthony Winfield can be solid options if they’re still available in the third round, where the Raiders have three selections.
On the other hand and after so much noise, it seems like Derek Carr will be the quarterback in 2020. The Marcus Mariota signing looks like a depth move more than a threat to the starting job. That doesn’t mean the Raiders will deter from selecting a signal-caller in the draft. If they really like Jalen Hurts, they shouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger and trade picks to select him.
As pointed out previously, the Raiders loaded the linebacker position, but they could still draft Kenneth Murray, Zack Baun or Patrick Queen in the first round. That would give them the most talent at the position in a long time. It would be highly unlikely as they already committed money to the position in free agency. Either way, no option should be discarded.
Lastly, the Raiders should not neglect their offensive line. Although it is mostly set, it can quickly falter due to injuries, so it should still be replenished. It isn’t a pressing need and there aren’t many premiere prospects. However, Tristan Wirf may be there and Las Vegas can add depth with one of their mid-round picks.
It will be interesting what the Raiders end up doing in the draft, but free agency give a couple clues about how they will address the draft.
You May Also Like: Raiders add more bodies as free agency dwindles down