Raiders

Two WRs in the 3rd Round are what Raiders needed

The Las Vegas Raiders had three third-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, and used two of them to select Lynn Bowden Jr., Bryan Edwards. It could be said that it was too excesive, but it isn’t when we take into account how depleted the position was last year.

The Raiders had a less than stellar wide receiver group last season. Other than rookie Hunter Renfrow and veteran Tyrell Williams, there wasn’t consistent production throughout the unit. Heck, the player with the most receiving yards at the end of the season was not even a wide-out but tight end Darren Waller. After Renfrow, who had 49 catches, 605 yards and four touchdowns, the next player with the most yards was another non-wide receiver, running back Jalen Richard with 323 yards.

No More Excuses For The Raiders

For a while, a lack of weapons has been the loudest excuse for quarterback Derek Carr and the offense not to produce. In 2019, the Raiders traded for Zay Jones but didn’t get too much return for their investment, a fifth round pick in this year’s draft. Fan favorite Keelan Doss didn’t do much either after the team got into a bidding war with the Jaguars to keep Doss. None of these players instilled fear in opposing defenses so general manager Mike Mayock got in to action and drafted Bowden Jr. and back-to-back picks, the 80th and 81st selections after selecting Henry Ruggs III with the 12th overall pick.

Related: Everyone Was Surprised by Raiders 12th Pick 

It could be argued that the Raiders didn’t need to draft two wide receivers and that they could’ve allocated the picks to other positions of need, but the front office was not happy with their level of talent and depth at wide receiver before the draft and the selection of Bowden Jr. and Edwards is a loud statement. On the other hand, the team spent resources in free agency to give the defense an makeover. At that time, Las Vegas didn’t limit themselves nor spare costs. It is now for the offense to get the same kind of treatment.

Raw But Potentially Dangerous

Bowden Jr. and Edwards are currently unproven, but they have the potential to rise up on the Raiders depth chart right away and displace many of the wide receivers currently on the roster. Even then, they won’t have the expectations that come with being drafted in the first round, fair or not, Ruggs III will be under way more scrutiny than the pair of third round picks.

The Raiders knew they had deficiencies throughout the roster, they lied a strategy and have followed. Drafting Bowden Jr. and Edwards in the third round were just another part of the plan.

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Top Photo: AP/Richard Shiro

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