Revamped Raiders WR Corps Potentially Lethal In 2020

Last season, fans everywhere heard that Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr didn’t have weapons. This year, the new-look wide receiver corps won’t be to blame.

Raiders general manager Mike Mayock saw what many of us observed last year: Opposing defenses didn’t respect the Raiders offense. Can you blame them? To put it nicely, the wide receiver corps was lackluster, albeit several factors played into the unraveling. The two biggest contributors to that were the Antonio Brown saga and Tyrell Williams’ injuries. By season’s end, the Silver and Black had a litany of receivers who had little to no impact other than rookie Hunter Renfrow and Zay Jones, who figures to compete for playing time this season.

Related: Raiders Using Clemson Pipeline To Build Championship Culure

A New Look In The Raiders’ Wide Receiver Room

So when it came to the 2020 NFL Draft, Mayock went big at wide receiver, selecting three new faces. Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, and Lynn Bowden Jr. who’s a “Swiss Army Knife“. A side note on Bowden Jr., ESPN already has him listed as a running back on the Raiders depth chart, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Jon Gruden uses him.

Given the versatility that this new group has, we expect Gruden to fully exploit its virtues and help quarterback Derek Carr get back to his 2016 form. Assuming Williams is healthy in 2020, Ruggs’ speed will force defense to respect the deep throw, this could lead to Williams breaking out. Or, you can line up Ruggs on the outside and go with the short game, which is were Renfrow shines.

The Swiss Army Knife

Then you have Bowden, who’s familiar with a “Wildcat” style offense, which will add another offensive dimension in theory, something Gruden should fully take advantage of. As for Mayock, it’s obvious he saw this dimension too, as he referred to this type of player who can do everything as “dynamic,” and as he said himself, we can expect the Kentucky product to line up everywhere, which will create a bevy of mismatches for the offense to take advantage of.

As far as Edwards, his menacing frame and impressive touchdown total back in college indicates he’ll potentially be a go-to target if he’s put in a position to succeed matchup-wise.

It seems that in 2020 we’ll finally see if Gruden is the “offensive guru” he’s been so often referred to. He has the weapons now, one of the fastest and youngest receiver corps, a dangerous running game, and imposing depth at tight end. If everyone’s put in a position to succeed, this offense should take a giant leap this year.

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Top photo: Travis Bell/Sideline Carolina

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