The Raiders finished 4-12 two seasons ago and improved to a 7-9 last year in John Gruden’s sophomore year as head coach. They had glaring positional needs this year, chief among them being is improving the wide receivers and corner-backs.position. In the 2020 draft, the Raiders impressed with their picks and look ready to take another step towards their division rivals and reigning Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.
In the first round, the Raiders chose with the 12th pick wide receiver Henry Ruggs III from Alabama. This reunites Ruggs with the Raiders running back and college teammate, Josh Jacobs. Ruggs dedicated the night to his dead friend who encouraged him to pursue football. Ruggs is a speedy receiver that will compliment Tyrell Williams. With Williams’s questionable durability, Ruggs could be primed to become Derek Carr’s number one choice. He stretches the field which will allow newcomer Nelson Agholor to play slot receiver and open up Williams more.
With the 19th pick of the first round, they chose Damon Arnette from Ohio. A physical cornerback that helps improve their defensive backs. He seems to have a chip on his shoulder, from the answer he gave Coach Gruden on draft night, about not being the first cornerback chosen in the draft. The Raiders made the most out of this pick that came from Chicago.
The Raiders had three third-round picks at number 80,81 and 100. They drafted versatile Lynn Bowden Jr., from Kentucky who can play wide receiver and running back, giving the Raiders more flexibility to their offense and helping Josh Jacobs who had to carry the ball most of the time. Then they drafted Bryan Edwards a wideout from South Carolina. Edwards is a big, strong target that again gives Carr more weapons on the offense. Tanner Muse, a safety from Clemson, promises to make an immediate contribution to the defensive backs and special teams.
In the fourth round with picks 109 and 139, the Raiders drafted John Simpson and Amik Robertson. Simpson is a big guard that will be groomed to take over for the aging Richie Incognito. Giving the offensive line a younger, more dynamic future. Robertson broke into tears when he received the call from Gruden. Robertson is a cornerback from Louisiana Tech and will help improve defense and has great instincts.
The Raider’s improvement last year is thanks to a highly talented rookie class led by running back Josh Jacobs and defensive end Max Crosby. The Raiders improved both their offense and defense with their picks this year as they try to win the division from the Kansas City Chiefs.