Raiders

Grading Las Vegas Raiders 2020 rookie draft class

The 2020 NFL Draft was the last one in which the Las Vegas Raiders would reap the “benefits” of the Khalil Mack trade. After making seven selections in 2020, this was how they fared on the field.

How did the Raiders’ seven 2020 draft picks fare last season?

Round 1, Pick 12: Henry Ruggs (Wide Receiver)

Grade: D

At number 12, Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden had their choice of wideouts and decided to make Henry Ruggs III the first one selected. Even though he was drafted for his tremendous speed, the Alabama product was never able to get on track. Finishing his rookie season with just 452 yards and two touchdowns, he was 21st among rookies in catches. All hope is not lost for the speedster, but the Raiders badly need more from him.

Round 1, Pick 19: Damon Arnette (Cornerback)

Grade: D

Considered a reach at the time, Damon Arnette did nothing to dispel this notion in 2020. Battling Covid-19 and a concussion last season, he was only able to play in nine games. In those games, he recorded just two passes defensed and no interceptions. One of new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s first tasks will be improving Arnette’s level of play.

Related: Raiders: Would Trading Marcus Mariota For Allen Robinson Make Sense?

Round 3, Pick 80: Lynn Bowden Jr., running back

Grade: F

After taking Bowden at pick 80, the Raiders didn’t even give him a chance to play, as they traded him to the Dolphins before the season. The converted quarterback recorded just 243 all-purpose yards while in Miami. Traded for just a fourth-round pick, Gruden and Mayock wasted this pick.

Round 3, Pick 81: Bryan Edwards, wide receiver

Grade: D

Taken one pick after Bowden, the Raiders took a high-upside player in Edwards. Despite being consistently touted as a dominant player in training camp, Edwards did not make a big impact in 2020. Recording only eleven catches for 193 yards, Edwards has vast amounts of potential and it will come down to his ability to stay healthy.  For now, the Raiders needed more from this selection.

Round 3, Pick 100: Tanner Muse, linebacker/safety

Grade: F

A very big reach at the time, Muse did not play in his rookie season. Despite missing the season with a toe injury, his career projection tops out as a special teamer. A head scratcher of a pick here by Gruden and Mayock.

Round 4, Pick 109: John Simpson, guard

Grade: B-

The least talked about selection of the Raiders class may have ended up being the best. Forced into seven games due to injury, performed well along the offensive line for Tom Cable’s unit. If the Raiders part ways with Richie Incognito, he very well could become a starter in 2021.

Round 4, Pick 139: Amik Robertson, cornerback

Grade: D

A small corner from Louisiana Tech, Robertson may be poised to start in the nickel for the Raiders in 2021. However, in his rookie season he recorded just four tackles, seeing time in eight games.

Coming off of an incredibly poor draft in 2020, Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock cannot afford to make the same mistakes this April. Seeing returns from the eventual 2021 class, as well as development from 2020’s class, could decide whether they keep their jobs after the upcoming season.

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Top Photo: Jeff Robertson/Associated Press

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Ken. Bryant

We need pride and poise, with a commitment to excellence!

Biglar

We need the “braintrust” to start looking at players with more skepticism rather than being wowed by “potential”. God, what a terrible draft! Simpson was mediocre (no more), and I thought Edwards would have done more his rookie year, but other than them there were red flags galore for this bunch:
Ruggs: Lack of production in college, had never been a #1 receiver
Arnette: Old, not best CB on team, benefited from a stellar pass rush
Bowden: Position change is always risky
Muse: See Bowden
Robertson: Too short to match up to big NFL receivers