2019 NFL Draft: Raiders no longer in running for No. 1 overall pick


2019 NFL Draft: Raiders no longer in running for No. 1 overall pick

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders have officially blown their opportunity to secure the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Monday night’s 27-14 win over the Denver Broncos sealed it, when combined with Week 16 action from some of the league's worst.

The Raiders sit a full game behind Arizona with one contest left to play, but they would lose a strength of schedule tiebreaker with the Cardinals and every other team currently sitting on four wins.

That includes the 49ers, who are in the No. 2 spot with a paltry win total and a .504 strength of schedule. The New York Jets are at No. 3 with a .506. Those SOS numbers come from The site's strength of schedule numbers include Week 17 opponents, making those numbers virtual locks at this stage of the season.

The Raiders are nowhere close at .546, meaning they’ll lose every tiebreaker -- except against the Jacksonville Jaguars, maybe -- even if there’s a giant cluster at five wins.

The Silver and Black would need to lose, and have the 49ers and the Jets win, to even get back to No. 2, so they seem stuck at No. 4. That’s especially true considering the 49ers play the Rams and the Jets play the Patriots, with both opponents needing a win for playoff positioning.

So, it seems likely, they’ve blown their chance at Nick Bosa. The former Ohio State edge rusher is expected to go earlier than the Raiders pick, meaning they’ll likely have to look elsewhere for help rushing the passer.

They can get an excellent defensive player at No. 4, including Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, Houston interior lineman Ed Oliver and edge rusher Clelin Ferrell and Josh Allen. LSU middle linebacker Devin White could be a long-term solution for an integral spot as well.

The quarterback spot is pretty weak this year, especially with Oregon’s Justin Herbert returning to school in 2019. That means other teams might not be aggressive trading into a high slot, therefore making trade value for the top spot more pedestrian.

The Raiders would be wise to use their top pick on a premium player at a premium position, considering how bad they need dominant playmakers at several spots.

While that top selection has dropped some, the Raiders still have four picks in the top 35. They have their first- and second-round picks, plus 2019 first-rounders from the Dallas Cowboys (for Amari Cooper) at No. 25 and the Chicago Bears (as part of the Khalil Mack compensation package) at No. 27. Both of those teams have made the playoffs, meaning their dropout round will determine a draft pick range.

Raiders restructure Rodney Hudson's contract to create 2020 cap space

Raiders restructure Rodney Hudson's contract to create 2020 cap space

The Raiders took on a bit more salary in free agency than they were legally allowed, but restructured center Rodney Hudson’s massive contract to get back under the NFL salary cap.

The team’s cap and contracts people got creative with the deal, obtained by ESPN on Wednesday morning, to provide relief in 2020 and push increased cap hits down the road where they have more flexibility.

The Raiders converted $11.6 million of Hudson’s base salary into a signing bonus, freeing up $9.28 in cap space for 2020. His cap hits will go up $2.32 million in subsequent seasons, which includes two voidable years at the end of the deal to spread out his cap hits.

The Silver and Black had to do that now to get Carl Nassib’s deal in while staying under the cap. He’s set to make $25 million over three years, with a $7.75 million cap hit in 2020, per

After factoring in the Nassib deal, the Hudson restructure and some other small additions, OTC reports the Raiders have $5.214 million in cap space. They might have to make another cap adjustment down the road, with $9.408 million required to pay their draft picks as currently slotted. They won’t have to make that move until later in the spring and summer, when they start signing draft picks.

[RELATED: Ranking Raiders' offensive players ahead of 2020 NFL draft]

The Raiders own the Nos. 12 and 19 overall selections, with three third-round picks and one each in the fourth and fifth rounds.

Hudson signed a long-term contract extension last season worth $33.7 million over three years, with $24.4 million guaranteed. Moving money around helps the Raiders stay right with the cap without hurting future standing and keeping all the talent the Raiders currently employ.

NFL mock draft 2020: First-round pick projections at start of April

NFL mock draft 2020: First-round pick projections at start of April

It's officially April which means #MockSZN is coming to an end.

For the past three months, NBC Sports Bay Area's Dalton Johnson and Josh Schrock have been rifling off a number of possible scenarios as they fall in love and out of love with a number of top draft prospects.

Tee Higgins has been riding a roller-coaster, Mekhi Becton a rocket ship while Laviski Shenault and Grant Delpit have bottomed out.

A few things remain the same from when we started: Joe Burrow will be a Bengal and Chase Young should be looking for real estate in the nation's capital unless Washington is overwhelmed with a trade offer.

Justin Herbert is rising and the coronavirus pandemic could see Tua Tagovailoa slide with in-person physicals impossible to perform.

The Raiders are looking for an elite wide receiver and a plug-and-play defensive back. The 49ers traded DeForest Buckner to move up to No. 13 and add to a team chomping at the bit to return to the Super Bowl.

The 2020 NFL Draft is weeks away. Who will be the next face of your franchise?