The Las Vegas Raiders had two first-round picks in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft and the rest of the AFC West had just one per team. Quantity doesn’t equal quality, so how did the Silver and Black do when compared to the rest of the division.
AFC West Grades after 1st Round
Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB
In the long run, the Chargers may benefit from drafting Herbert. The Oregon product will have the chance to sit behind incumbent Tyrod Taylor and learn. However, they could’ve selected a wide receiver to complement Keenan Allen or Isaiah Simmons to reinforce their linebacker corps. Some analysts seemed to have liked Herbert over Tua and said that he could become the better pro. Until that happens, the Chargers will be in need of a playmaker.
Kenneth Murray, LB
Los Angeles saw the Raiders picking twice in the first round and they didn’t want to fall behind. After Isaiah Simmons, there was a drop-off in talent at linebacker. Regardless, the Chargers must have thought of Murray highly enough to trade back into the first and get someone to patrol the middle of the field on defense. If the Chargers were graded based on Herbert alone, they would get a lower score, but Murray raises their final evaluation on Day 1 of the draft.
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Las Vegas Raiders: Henry Ruggs III, WR
The Raiders front office deserves praise. The need for a number one receiver is gone and quarterback Derek Carr or whoever the quarterback is when the season starts will have a featured receiver. The Silver and Black wanted speed and they got it in the first round of the draft. Ruggs III will have to earn snaps but knowing the kind of depth the team has at the position, it shouldn’t be difficult for the Alabama product to earn playing time. In time, we will find out if Ruggs III is DeSean Jackson 2.0 or John Ross -2.0.
The need for cornerback was cleared and now fulfilled, but no one saw the Raiders drafting Arnette and if they did, please show the receipts and I will send you a cheese basket. He will definitely track his man and tackle him, the opposite of what Gareon Conley brought to the table back when he was in the team. Arnette is a tad slow, but defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has to give the corner every single chance to start opposite of Trayvon Mullen in order to find out if the Raider made the right pick. Plus, Hall of Fame wide receiver Chris Carter endorsed him and that should account for something.
What about the rest of the AFC West?
Denver Broncos: Jerry Jeudy, WR
Some in Raider Nation may feel jealous the Broncos drafted the receiver they wanted. It seems like general manager John Elway is ready to give quarterback Drew Lock the chance to show he is their franchise quarterback they have lacked since Peyton Manning retired. Jeudy could quickly become Lock’s favorite wide receiver and Denver gets a playmaker.
Kansas City Chiefs: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
The Chiefs had a lights-out passing game last season, but their running game was nothing to game plan for. Damien Williams was solid, but not in the same level as Kareem Hunt, whom Kansas City released back in November, 2018. The Chiefs had already had a formidable offense before the first day of the draft. After it, it seems like the rich got richer and the Raiders had better be ready if they plan to contend.
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