Raiders Draft

Raiders Draft: WR Chase Claypool, An Overlooked Prospect

The 2020 NFL Draft is a few days away and the Las Vegas Raiders are working non-stop to be ready. One of the prospects they’ve surely discussed is Chase Claypool.

The British Colombia native spent all four years of his collegiate career at Notre Dame. At his size, he ran a 4.42 40-yard dash, with 40.5″ vertical, and 126″ broad jump. Posting those kinds of numbers, a fair comparison would be Megatron.

CHASE CLAYPOOL- 6’4″, 240 LBS.- Wide receiver

Looking back at his college days, he progressed well, although he was limited and didn’t get the chance to break out until his senior year.

  • In 2016, he played in 12 games, but we saw him mostly playing special teams, where he led the team with 11 tackles. On offense, he caught five receptions for 81 yards.
  • He saw the field more often in 2017 and started eight games, playing in 12 total and racking up 402 yards and two touchdowns on 29 receptions. That year, he backed up Equanimeous St. Brown and Miles Boykin
  • In 2018, he climbed the depth chart, started 12 of 13 games, but he was still just a backup to Boykin. On 50 receptions, he posted 639 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Last year, he got his time to shine as a featured receiver and did not disappoint with 1,037 yards and 13 touchdowns off of 66 receptions.

Related: GM Mike Mayock ready to seize the draft

Raiders Draft: The case against Claypool

You will not see Claypool go in the first-round in most mocks. You may not even find him in the second round either and that is mainly due to this year’s receivers class. His late breakout also plays a factor, he is not considered a true number one yet and needs work to be considered a legit number two in today’s NFL.

His route running is far from elite and his agility is average at best, leaving him in many contested situations.

Claypool’s Strenghts

All that aside, his competitiveness will be his biggest asset. He tends to win most 50/50 balls as his size and vertical reach allow him to beat most defenders. This also boosts his yard per catch average, as it usually takes more than one defender to bring him down. He is a solid run blocker too as he loves bringing the pain.

NFL transition

Claypool played outside in his last two years with the Fighting Irish, but I see him as more of a tight end or slot receiver because of his success in contested catches. The man is a bully in that regard, and if he can build up his agility and technique a bit, there is no reason he can’t push for a top spot. His versatility will give him a lot of play time regardless and I envision him growing well even on the outside stretching the field.

Best pro comparison: A cross between Megatron, A.J. Green, and Greg Olsen. Neither of those guys were the fastest, and neither were afraid to throw down blocks either. All three were consistent threats to score anytime they had the ball because of their ability to break away from defenders.

Draft selection range

He can go as high as late in the first for someone that loves his versatility and competitiveness. In my eyes, he won’t be lower than a third rounder for a team looking to add depth.

Best team fits

Any team could use a prospect like Claypool, but I think his best fits are with the Packers, Ravens or Falcons, or the Patriots, since they lost Gronk.

Raiders Draft: Final thoughts

I see Claypool being no later than a third round pick, but given his versatility, I would not be surprised if a franchise took him late in the first round. I don’t believe he will have much issue transitioning as he is a “what you see is what you get” kind of player. If he boosts up his quickness, he will be a steal in this draft. A lot will also depend on if he is willing to switch to tight end full time as many others note that they see him making the transition.

You May Also Like: Raider Ramble top 16 EDGE prospects

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For more Raiders content, keep it here in the Ramble. To check other things Ben’s written, go to eagleyeforum.com

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