The 2019 NFL Draft class for the Las Vegas Raiders has been one of the most significant in team history. It’s a double-edged sword though; it stands as a monument to the mid-round masterclass of then-general manager Mike Mayock. Note the emphasis on “mid-round,” as that year’s first-round haul is the subject of debate. Speaking of that first round, the No. 4 pick from that year, Clelin Ferrell, has now moved on to his second team, the San Francisco 49ers.
Given the fact that general manager Dave Ziegler opted to decline Ferrell’s fifth-year option last offseason, maybe the writing was on the wall. It didn’t take a genius to see that Clelin Ferrell was going to need a massive turnaround to warrant a new deal. While he did take 494 snaps on defense this past season, Ferrell didn’t make an impact if we’re being frank. 13 pressures with two sacks, according to Pro Football Reference, doesn’t scream dominance. In four years with the Raiders, Ferrell recorded 10 sacks and a couple of forced fumbles. By now, the “bust” talk has been beaten like a dead horse.
However, now that the Raiders have finally moved on, it does make you reflect for a moment. Specifically on the state of the 2019 class under this current power duo of Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels.
Let’s cut through all the B.S. right now. If you’re a Raiders fan, you wouldn’t be at fault if you thought no one on the roster was safe. In terms of that 2019 class, the only player that we can all agree is untouchable is Maxx Crosby. He’s your defensive cornerstone and arguably one of the top five, maybe four, pass rushers in the NFL. Who knows, maybe he’ll finally get some help this offseason, whether it’s via the NFL draft or free agency.
Ferrell, Johnathan Abram, Trayvon Mullen, Quinton Bell, and Isaiah Johnson are all gone. We can expect Foster Moreau to join them real soon as well. That leaves just Hunter Renfrow and Josh Jacobs. This is where it gets interesting as far as this class “hanging by a thread.” All of the recent moves by the Raiders at wide receiver point to a changing of the guard. Davante Adams is going to be surrounded by a whole new cast, including Jakobi Meyes and Phillip Dorsett, but also with Darren Waller gone. Ziegler has essentially hit the “reset” button on his receiver corps, and yeah, Raiders fans might’ve seen the last of “Third and Renfrow.”
The final piece to all of this is the NFL’s leading rusher, Jacobs. If you’re following social media, you must know about Jacobs’s Tweets. Whether they’re an indication of his future is speculation right now. At the same time, there’s no scenario in which Jacobs isn’t upset on some level about the team’s recent moves. Right?
*Top Photo: Chris Unger/Getty Images