The 2019 NFL Draft was a hit for the Las Vegas Raiders. They ended the process with nine players and signed undrafted free-agent Alec Ingold after the fact. Many of those prospects have now become key contributors for the Silver and Black. Alas, the same can’t be said about this year’s draft class.
The Raiders added a plethora of players via the draft in 2019
The Raiders drafted running back Josh Jacobs, safety Johnathan Abram and defensive end Clelin Ferrell in the first round of 2019’s draft. They later added cornerback Trayvon Mullen in the second and defensive end Maxx Crosby and corner Isaiah Johnson in the fourth. Tight end Foster Moreau and Hunter Renfrow would follow in the fifth round and defensive end Quentin Bell in the seventh. Out of all those players, only Bell is no longer with the team and most of them have become part of the team’s core.
Jacobs is their star running back and Abram is the leader of the defense. Maxx Crosby is the team’s best pass rusher, Mullen is holding one starting spot and Renfrow is as reliable as they come. Moreover, Moreau has been solid when he has had his name called and Ferrell has been serviceable. It is true that the Raiders had many selections heading into the draft, but it is never easy to hit in all of them.
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The 2020 class is a whole different deal
For proof of how difficult it is to get draft selections right, look no further than the Raiders 2020 draft class. The team had seven total selections, but the returns haven’t been great so far. They drafted wide receiver Henry Ruggs III and cornerback Damon Arnette in the first round. The Alabama standout has displayed flashes of talent but hasn’t become the premier receiver the team envisioned. Meanwhile, Arnette went through the growing pains most rookie’s experience before he sustained a thumb injury.
The Raiders’ third-round picks haven’t fared any better than their first-round counterparts. The team’s brass traded running back Lynn Bowden Jr. to the Miami Dolphins. Wide receiver Bryan Edwards is currently nursing an ankle injury and the Silver and Black have placed safety Tanner Muse on the Injured Reserve list after undergoing toe surgery.
In his latest sitdown with the media, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden cited injuries and the lack of an in-person offseason program as two of the reasons why their 2020 rookies haven’t exploded but he believes they’re getting ‘something out of them’ and is confident in them. The head coach is right. Nobody can plan for injuries and the learning curve was steeper for players that joined the NFL this year.
A Look Ahead
Regardless of the reason, the Raiders surely expected more from this year’s rookie class, especially when compared to last year’s. While it’s too early to write the rookies off, the early returns haven’t been encouraging. If they end up breaking out at a later time, we might look back and laugh it all off. On the other hand, if they don’t live to expectations, the Raiders may find themselves in need to get back to the drawing board.
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Top Photo: Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald
5 thoughts on “Raiders Have Gotten ‘Something’ Out Of Their 2020 Draft Class”
I’ve been a Raider fan ! since i was 10yrs.old , and i’m 56yrs.old now. I’ve seen the glory days ,Super Bowls and the greatest players to ever play in the NFL. But ! The Las Vegas Raiders, are a team i can see winning it all soon, probably in the next year or so. This team needs to tighten up it’s defense line, probably adding a Ryan Kerrigan and maybe another Quarterback in next year draft. I love my Raiders , and i believe coach Gruden is the man to take us there. Thanks for allowing me to Express myself towards my team. PS. JULIUS L. BOOKER……WASHINGTON,D.C.
I am 51 years old and have been a die hard Raider fan since I watched the silver and black smash the Eagles 27-10 in the Superbowl on January 25, 1981 in New Orleans! I’ve seen some of the very best teams ever and of course, I also suffered as did the entire Raider nation, through some pretty dismal years (the Jamarcus Russell years probably take center stage here). Anyway, optimism is sometimes key for us die hard fans but I honestly feel in my heart that we are definitely on the right track! Derek Carr is playing with a passion again, Jacobs and Booker (thank you, Denver!), are running wild and finally Waller has some ligitimate help (Agalor, Ruggs, and Renfro all deserve to be mentioned here!). All that being said, I think if we add maybe a DL this off season we could be real contenders as early as next year! Raider nation for life!
Timothy, that’s for sharing your experience as a fan. I can sense the passion in your writing, that’s how refreshing reading your comment is. We try to be objective when analyzing every player or their performance, but you’re right, Carr is playing some of the best football of his career.
This article is silly. How can you judge the 2020 class when the marquee picks are all injured? Ruggs has performed when targeted, but remember he was injured for two games too. Or are we now blaming players and/or Mayock for injuries??
Availability is a player’s most important ability. Can’t say the class is bad, but can’t say it’s good either. What you can say is that the class as a whole hasn’t contributed much.