The Las Vegas Raiders wanted to improve their secondary and wide receiver corps in the 2020 NFL Draft. Coming out of it, not only did they address their roster holes but they also made sure both position groups were no longer needs as they doubled down at both position groups.
Last year, the Raiders constantly saw their cornerbacks get beaten deep and their defensive secondary was a liability more often than not. Likewise, their wide receiver unit was devoid of talent, and suffered from inexperience, and injuries. The Raiders front office went into the 2020 offseason well aware of their roster deficiencies.
The Raiders Roster Needs Were Evident To Everyone
Pro Football Focus (PFF) also knew of the Raiders roster deficiencies and mentioned it before this year’s draft that they should target both areas.
Regarding the Raiders’ cornerback position, PFF said, “problems have existed in the Raiders’ secondary for years now, and they’ve tried to remedy that by bringing in players through the draft and free agency in recent seasons. It hasn’t worked. The secondary was still a major issue in 2019. No team in the NFL allowed more expected points per pass play than the Raiders, and they were one of the more susceptible teams to big plays, allowing 2,196 passing yards on gains of 20-plus yards. That was more than any other team in the league.”
PFF pointed out the positives the Raiders wide receiver group saw last season but also made it clear they should upgrade the unit as a whole, “another position that the Raiders went after this past offseason but needs attention once again is wide receiver. Obviously, the saga that was Antonio Brown’s 2019 season has a lot to do with that. Tyrell Williams was thrust into a No. 1 role that he isn’t best suited for. Hunter Renfrow had a strong rookie season with a 76.0 overall grade, but the Raiders should continue to be on the hunt for dynamic receivers as they prepare to make the move to Las Vegas. Nelson Agholor isn’t going to be that top option in the passing game.”
Last Year’s Weaknesses Became a Potential Strength in 2020
The Raiders were conscious enough about their roster needs that they came out of the draft with two wide receivers and two corners. They added Henry Ruggs III in the first round and Bryan Edwards in the third with the 80th overall pick. They did the same for their cornerback position when they got Damon Arnette with pick No. 19 and Amik Robertson with the 139th selection.
The Raiders made sure they took care of their roster needs. Looking back, it looks like a calculated move to add the talent they weren’t able to this past free agency.
At this point, it’s uncertain if all the players the Raiders front office drafted will pan out, but they wisely put a contingency plan in place. Their wide receiver corps and their cornerbacks should no longer be a weakness in the 2020 season.
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*Top Photo Nicolas-Galindo/The New Star