Raiders

Raiders First Round Picks Produce Mixed Results in Week 12

It was an ugly game for the Las Vegas Raiders this past Sunday in Atlanta. As for their first-round picks, it produced uneven results. 

The Raiders were thoroughly humiliated by the Atlanta Falcons, that much isn’t debatable. Be that as it may, there are always positives even the worse of defeats. While the score may not reflect it, the Raiders’ defense showed improvement overall. Statistically speaking, according to Josh Dubow of the Associated Press, the Raiders’ pass defense has improved, going from 31st with a 102.4 passer rating the last three years to ninth and 89.2 this season.

Maybe those are baby steps but head coach Jon Gruden and the Silver and Black will take it. Just as it has taken time for the defense to develop, the same will hold true for rookies Henry Ruggs III and Damon Arnette.

Related: Some Major Concerns For Raiders Following Loss In Atlanta

Did Ruggs and Arnette Step Up For The Raiders In Week 12?

Pro Football Focus spotlighted the Raiders’ first-round rookies and the results were mixed. Ruggs received a 57.2 overall grade, his on-field impact goes beyond stats but at some point, fans want to see some numbers. The trend is certainly looking positive despite the lopsided loss, Ruggs caught three passes for 56 yards on Sunday. He also could’ve added a touchdown to his stat sheet had he been able to put his foot on the white sideline before taking off as PFF pointed out.

Arnette also didn’t fare much better grade-wise, he has a 50.7 overall after Week 12. The rookie suffered a concussion which meant he only totaled eight snaps, a setback both on the field and personally with that head trauma. PFF pointed out that he was targeted once before being taken out, having given up a 16-yard catch. Injuries are a part of the game and teams, for the most part, can’t control them unless you’re the Los Angeles Chargers.

For Arnette, to say his health has been the biggest issue isn’t too far-fetched. A thumb injury, a concussion, and a Covid diagnosis have decimated a rookie campaign that many were excited for. Surrendering a 132.1 passing rating is concerning along with an 80 percent completion rate per PFF.

No one’s calling these two youngsters busts by any stretch. Unfortunately, there are reasons to be concerned, especially with Arnette. We can only hope that both of these Raiders can continue to grow.

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*Top Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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Biglar

Right now it looks like an absolutely terrible draft. The Raiders could have picked Wirfs who had fallen to them in the first, then picked up Jefferson later in the first. That alone would have made it a great draft. Mayock tends to outthink himself in the draft.