20 September 2020

LEAGUE ALERTS

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Draft Preview: Las Vegas Raiders

The then Oakland Raiders now known as the Las Vegas Raiders had one of the best acquisitions in the 2019 off-season as they landed star wide receiver Antonio Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 2019 3rd- rounder and 5th-rounder. The Raiders believed they had one of the best wideout duos as they also signed receiver Tyrell Williams and quickly were considered as a team with the best off-season additions.

We all know what ended up happening with Brown as he never got to see a snap in the silver and black and the Raiders would go on to have receiver problems. Despite the Brown-Mayock drama before the start of the season, the Raiders had a possibility of making the playoff as they were 6-4 but would end up finishing 7-9 missing the playoffs once again. The Raiders have two 1st-round picks this draft and 8 in total. Here are some positions Las Vegas could look to address during the draft.

Wide Receiver

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The Raiders were without a true #1 wide receiver for most of the season as the Antonio Brown saga ruined the chance of having a #1 receiver. The Raiders also signed wideout Tyrell Williams who originally was supposed to be the sidekick to Brown but had to step up as the #1 receiver and he did as he scored a touchdown in each of his first 4 games as a Raider.

The Raiders also drafted a diamond in the rough Hunter Renfrow as he quickly became quarterback Derek Carr go to receiver crowning Renfrow the nickname “3rd and Renfrow.” Williams would end up battling Plantar fasciitis after week 6 which would force him to miss 2 games and ultimately affect him for the rest of the season. Renfrow would end up suffering a broken rib and a punctured lung week 12 vs the New York Jets causing him to miss 3 games. Las Vegas has 2 great receivers in Williams and Renfrow if there able to get a #1 receiver in the draft they can have an impressive WR core.

A prospect to look out for is without CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma who is coming off an impressive season for the Sooners where he was there #1 receiver. Lamb recorded 62 receptions for 1.327 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns with an impressive 21.4 average yards per play. Lamb is probably the most complete receiver when it comes down to good hands, route running, and runs after the catch bringing a lot to the table for the Raiders. If Las Vegas gets Lamb with one of their 1st-round picks (12th Overall) they will truly have one of the brightest young stars in the brightest city.

Cornerback

The Raiders were supposed to have one of the best steals in the 2019 draft as they were able to pick up Isaiah Johnson in the 4th round. Johnson would go on to suffer several fractured bones on the right side of his in the Raiders pre-season opener keeping him out of action until week 10. Las Vegas also has Daryl Worley who is set to become a free agent and with no recent talks of a new contract, the Raiders look like they are moving on from the starting corner.

The Raiders could look to pair up young CB Trayvon Mullen with another young stud for their much-needed help in the secondary.

A prospect to look out for is Kristian Fulton out of LSU who played a role in their National Championship season. Fulton recorded 1 interception along with 14 pass deflections which were the most by CB one the team is a sleeper in the draft. Fulton does well when playing man coverage not allowing receivers to create separation; his lack of discipline is what makes the team discourage him. With some help from veterans on the team and a couple of games playing in the NFL, he can easily fix that problem up. If the Raiders pick up Fulton they would have a CB core of Keisean Nixon, Isaiah Johnson, and Nevin Lawson a bunch of underrated CB’s that can contribute to the team.

Defensive Tackle

The Raiders made some big improvements to their defensive line adding defensive end Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell in the 2019 draft. Crosby made a huge impact as he had 10 sacks and Ferrell also put up respective numbers as he recorded 4.5 sacks.

The Raiders recorded a total of 32 which ranked the 8th fewest in the league but is an improvement where they recorded dead last with 13 sacks. Las Vegas could look to beef up their line by adding a defensive tackle to improve on putting some pressure on opponents’ quarterbacks.

A prospect to look out for is Larrell  Murchison who is coming off a season where he was a decent piece to the N.C State defense. Murchison wrapped up his junior year with 7 sacks and 2 pass deflections. He is a great rotation player in a 4-3 defensive scheme which is perfect because the Las Vegas defense runs a 4-3. Murchison is seen as a spark-plug by some scouts and with that, he can contribute to the Raiders when they need someone to step up.

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