One of the most bitter moments in Las Vegas Raiders lore came full circle during the 2020 NFL Draft, we’re referring to the infamous Khalil Mack trade.
When the Raiders traded away an All-Pro in Mack, there was a collective cry of disappointment. It only hit fans that much harder after head coach Jon Gruden had personally told them they were bringing him back. Fast forward to this year’s draft and it appears the final chapter of that painful event has come to an end.
Originally perceived as a bad trade by Raider Nation, the move has now the Silver and Black reaping the rewards. The Bears for their part got an all-world linebacker and defensive end. This year, they used the second-round pick Gruden bewilderingly gave up with Mack to select Cole Kmet, the tight end from Notre Dame.
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What About The Raiders? Khalil Mack?
As far as Gruden goes, he got plenty of draft liquidity in return, which general manager Mike Mayock has helped turn into future foundational pieces, such as Josh Jacobs, who will be a cornerstone of the Raiders offense for years to come. Skip to this weekend’s draft and the Silver and Black cashed in on this trade once again, this time addressing two key needs with that loot.
Watch the moment @B__ED89 learned he was going to wear the Silver and Black. h/t @GamecocksFB pic.twitter.com/JOUOzudrlZ
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) April 25, 2020
Cornerback Damon Arnette was chosen with the 19th pick in the first round on Thursday night, and wide receiver Bryan Edwards was picked up the following day. Arnette’s selection, which was initially trashed, might end up paying dividends as the secondary sorely needs a corner opposite of Trayvon Mullen. With Edwards, the selection was what our own Carlos Sanchez called a “curve ball,” and yet, they ended up with the best receiver to ever put on a South Carolina Gamecock uniform. As far as the Raiders go, Sanchez points out that Edwards has to remain healthy and work on his craft, we can see if he’ll become a weapon in Gruden’s offense.
“Edwards needs to show he can stay healthy and work on his craft as raw talent isn’t enough to succeed at the pro level. Nevertheless, he has the tools to become a steady contributor for the Raiders.”
The legacy itself of this trade has yet to be determined, we don’t know what the rest of Mack’s career will look like and we also don’t know how big of an impact these Raiders players will have. In spite of that, the ramifications of that polarizing deal are much clearer now.
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