The 2020 NFL draft is less than three days away and many are focusing on the early rounds. While the highly touted players garner attention, the Silver and Black’s front office will bring the same tenacity to acquire top talent in each and every single round of the draft. This year, Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock will look once again to acquire quality late round players the way they did in the 2019.
Below, are five players that would schematically fit the Raiders in the later rounds.
The Las Vegas Raiders Are 100% Ready
In just a few days, the world will be exposed to one of the most anticipated events in all of sports. The draft will be conducted 100% virtually due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, but in times of self isolation and uncertainty, Mayock believes he possesses an unique advantage. In a pre-draft conference call with the press last week, he was asked if his past experience as an NFL Network analyst gives him an edge in the upcoming virtual draft.
“To be honest with you, for me personally, it is kind of what I’ve done for the last 20 years,” Mayock said. “I feel very comfortable sitting at my dining room table crunching tape, calling college coaches and looking to get any advantage and any information I can on any guy we’re interested in. To be honest with you, as a group, we’re embracing it and I think it’s been a great process. The Raiders are 100 percent prepared and ready to go. We’re excited about this draft. ” -General Manager Mike Mayock
With that being said, the Raiders possess one of the leagues most experienced talent evaluators in a time where traditional pre-draft processes were cancelled. 32 organizations will now rely on their scouting departments more than ever before, and for the Silver and Black, this advantage could pay dividends in acquiring playmakers in the later rounds. Last year, the team found premium value in the later rounds.
2019 4th Round:
No.106 overall – Maxx Crosby
#Raiders rookie DE Maxx Crosby with 4 sacks against the #Bengals, what day for the rookie.pic.twitter.com/CSObLlS2nC
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 18, 2019
No.137 overall – Foster Moreau
Nice touchdown catch by #Raiders 4th round pick rookie TE Foster Moreaupic.twitter.com/RtneS2fQGi
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 29, 2019
2019 5th Round:
No.149 overall – Hunter Renfrow
.@DerekCarrQB delivers to Hunter Renfrow to give the @Raiders the lead! #DETvsOAK #RaiderNation
ðŸ“±: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app
Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/GjhTr4sGG6 pic.twitter.com/dCfoSJVm7f
— NFL (@NFL) November 3, 2019
Last draft, the team discovered three foundational pieces in the middle/late portion of the draft. In 2020 they may look to replicate that success with the five players below:
Related: Raider Ramble Top 16 EDGE prospects
Quintez Cephus – Wisconsin Badgers
Cephus brings quality on-field production to a wide receiver position where the abundance of players seems to intrigue the eye more so than the talent of each individual prospect. He was expelled from the Wisconsin football program in 2019 due to sexual assault allegations that he was later found not guilty of. If not for that roadblock, Chepus would potentially be an early round selection. Last season, he reminded college football of the kind of difference maker he is.
Quintez. Cephus. ðŸ”¥
What a catch by the @BadgerFootball WR to extend the lead. pic.twitter.com/W2Bvqfdy6L
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 23, 2019
His route running and ability to track the football are second to none.
Jack Coan âž¡ï¸ Quintez Cephus for the TD ðŸ”¥ðŸ”¥
Wisconsin picks up their 3rd TD of the day. pic.twitter.com/63bZC9apiL
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) November 9, 2019
Most importantly, his head coach viewed him as an incredible teammate:
â€œI think he’s an unbelievable teammate because he truly cares about the guys and each individual.”
His fortitude could potentially be the gravitational force that the Raiders are appealed to in the fifth round.
Cameron Clark – Charlotte 49ers
Las Vegas possess a considerable amount of depth at the guard position but lacks it at tackle. Clark provides versatility and experience from both positions and set the school record for 49 career games played throughout his four-year career. In addition, he was the team’s offensive MVP in 2018 and was also named a team captain the past two seasons. He has an aggressive mentality that translates well in the trenches regardless of the quality of competition.
Some examples of Cameron Clark vs. Clemson from the TV copy ðŸ‘€ https://t.co/GTmh0EKuLj pic.twitter.com/wMRMap834h
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) January 15, 2020
Clark is a prospect that could work his way into a future starting role.
Thakarius Keyes – Tulane Green Waves
Keyes is a prospect that you may not have heard of but is one of the few press cornerbacks in this draft class.
One thing that immediately jumps off the tape when you watch Tulane senior CB Thakarius Keyes? His length.
Engulfs players at the LOS and is very effective at re-routing/disrupting the timing of the WR's path. Press man teams are going to love him. pic.twitter.com/fIOr6hYO6S
— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) January 2, 2020
As you can see above, Keyes possesses the physical traits to become an effective press corner at the Pro level. Most players of his height at the position aren’t always the greatest of athletes, but he puts that theory in question.
Thakarius â€œBopeteâ€ Keyes has size and ball skills. Late Day 3 cornerback prospect to watch. pic.twitter.com/UhtqyOrYeC
— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) April 18, 2020
His albatross-like 78 1/4″ wingspan ranks in the top five of all prospective cornerbacks. If the Raiders are seeking a player that has the ability to turn into an effective physical cornerback, the Green Waves product could be a diamond in the rough in the later rounds.
Shaquille Quarterman – Miami Hurricanes
Las Vegas may have addressed their linebacker corps in free agency, but the position still lacks quality depth. Without further ado, Quarterman plays the game seeking to cause chaos in opposite backfields.
Week 5 @ACCFootball Players of the Week:
2âƒ£ players earn Co-LB of the week
1st up @CanesFootball's Shaq Quarterman for his 2-sack performance vs. #UNC including this hit big fumble-causing hit!#ItsAllAboutTheU pic.twitter.com/kU1Gs7bInC
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) October 1, 2018
He is a traditional run-stuffing linebacker who plays the game of football with an unquestioned intensity.
Miami LB Shaquille Quarterman:
– 52 career starts
– 356 tackles (9th most in Miami history)
– Comes downhill quickly
– Delivers tone setting hits
Quarterman really reminds me of #Steelers LB Vince Williams in a lot of ways. Full profile below:https://t.co/vVNqMChDNX pic.twitter.com/sRQpGBUBYP
— Daniel Valente (@StatsGuyDaniel) April 3, 2020
Quarterman has sound read and react instincts but has lapses in coverage at times. In the later rounds, the Raiders could select him as a developmental linebacker that harnesses the means to become a recipient of more defensive snaps in time.
Michael Warren II – Cincinnati Bearcats
Last but not least is a former Cincinnati Bearcats running back who powered his way through competition at the collegiate level, literally.
Stop me if youâ€™re heard this before, Michael Warren just found the end zone pic.twitter.com/QG2Tv7sIx0
— Barstool Cincinnati (@UCBarstool) November 9, 2019
He ran with a physicality that would be an ideal compliment for current starter Josh Jacobs. Not only did he provide power with his legs, he also displayed soft hands as a receiver out of the backfield.
Trying to find some sleepers for this draft class. What about Michael Warren? Havent heard alot about him but can catch out of the back field and has great balance and tackle breaking ability. 15 carries of 15+ yards last season. What do we think of this dart throw? pic.twitter.com/zp41IoCk2B
— Boardy (@DFF_Boardy) March 3, 2020
For the Silver and Black, he would provide a unique skill set that the team might become fond of in the later rounds of the draft.
In Review For The Raiders
As of right now, the Raiders last selection in the draft is in the fifth round. Mayock has placed an emphasis on acquiring additional picks and may have additional reason to acquire more selections.
Mike Mayock says his family will donate $1,000 per draft pick made to a Nevada charity in the name of each selection to help during this difficult time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
— Scott Bair (@ScottBairNFL) April 14, 2020
If the team does manage to acquire more selections, it will not only benefit the organization, but it will also assist the Nevada community. The team has a more important reason to seek out later round draft picks via trade.
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