Raiders

NFL Draft 2020: Mapping out Raiders' ideal A-plus class round-by-round

Raiders

In a little over 24 hours, the Raiders will be on the clock in the 2020 NFL Draft.

We know that general manager Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden are positioned to hit another home run. The Silver and Black own two first-round picks, three third-round selections and have the ammunition needed to acquire a second-round pick which they undoubtedly covet.

The needs -- wide receiver, cornerback, defensive tackle and running back -- have been thoroughly discussed and the draft options analyzed. The Raider sare prepared to avoid any technical mishaps come draft day, as the virtual even could add a new wrinkle to the affair.

On Tuesday, we looked at what a worst-case scenario draft might look like for the Raiders. It was filled with gaffes, misses, reaches and one hit. But now let's talk about the other side.

After all, student and NFL organizations do have one thing in common: They both love to get an A and stick it on a fridge.

To be clear, this is not a mock. Raiders insider Scott Bair has conducted a Raiders seven-round mock and Dalton Johnson and I have predicted the entire first round

Instead, here are eight prospects that I believe would create the perfect 2020 draft class for the Raiders, complete with alternative options and stay-aways. 

 

First round (No. 12 overall) -- CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Lamb can do it all and he would be the perfect weapon for Gruden's offense.

The Oklahoma product is a monster after the catch. He's a tough, hard-nosed runner who can make anyone miss and turn a 5-yard slant into a 65-yard touchdown.

He's got strong hands, elite body control and his contested-catch ability is off the charts. Mayock reportedly "loves" Lamb and believes he's the top receiver in the draft. With a few teams looking to move up to nab a top wideout, the Raiders might have to get lucky to have Lamb fall in their lap, but he would be the perfect start to their 2020 class.

Other A options: WR Jerry Jeudy, CB CJ Henderson
We'll accept it: WR Henry Ruggs
Try again: Trading down
Possible sliding star: DT Derrick Brown

First Round (No. 19 overall) -- A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson (trade down)

The Raiders need to find a second-round pick and No. 19 is the perfect spot to trade down and recoup much-needed draft capital.

I went over a few possible trade down scenarios here, of which, there might not be a lot. But the Baltimore Ravens -- who own the No. 28 pick and the No. 55 pick -- could be the perfect trade partner. Baltimore has a big need at linebacker and No. 19 is exactly the spot where most mocks have Kenneth Murray and Patrick Queen starting to hear their name called.

Mayock executing a trade down should allow him to still have his pick of a few second-tier corners and pick up the desired capital.

Assuming LSU's Kristian Fulton is off the board before No. 28, the Raiders should call up Trayvon Mullen and tell him his secondary mate at Clemson, A.J. Terrell, is coming to Las Vegas. Terrell is long, rangy, is great with his hands and has played well on the biggest stages (2020 College Football Playoff National Championship Game aside).

Terrell was glued to the hip of Alabama star DeVonta Smith Jr. in the 2019 title game and his pick-six was the start of Clemson's blowout of Alabama. I think I like Fulton's fit a little more, but I expect him to be gone and Terrell is NFL ready.

Other A options: CB Fulton (if available), CB Jaylon Johnson
We'll accept it: DT Ross Blacklock, CB Jeff Gladney
Try again: WR Denzel Mims, WR Laviska Shenault, QB Jordan Love, EDGE AJ Epenesa

Second round (No. 55 overall) -- Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame

Since we're gunning for that A-plus, let's assume Mayock pulls off the trade with the Ravens and lands the No. 55 pick.

 

There the pick should be clear. The Raiders already added a No. 1 wide receiver in Lamb, and now they complete their offensive re-tooling by getting a versatile, touchdown monster.

Claypool's measurables are well known. He's 6-foot-4, 238 pounds and ran a 4.42 40 time at the combine. The route-running needs a little work, but he can play outside as a stretch the field weapon or be moved inside as a big-body slot receiver to move the chains. His size and ability to high-point footballs also would give the Raiders a much-needed red-zone weapon.

Other A options: DT Neville Gallimore, DL Marlon Davidson, WR Michael Pittman Jr., CB Damon Arnette, S Antione Winfield Jr.
We'll accept it: WR KJ Hamler, S Grant Delpit, WR Jalen Raegor, RB, D'Andre Swift, DL Justin Madubuike
Try again: CB Noah Igbinoghene, EDGE Terrell Lewis, DL Jordan Elliott, LB Zach Baun

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Third round (No. 80 and 81 overall) -- Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama & Zach Moss, RB, Utah

Check another pressing need off the list.

Davis was seen as a first-round draft pick after his sophomore season, but his production tailed off a bit in Tuscaloosa. Still, at 6-foot-7, 327 pounds, he's got the strength, power and length to be a run-stopping force immediately. Davis will need work on his pass-rushing moves, but he would be a great addition to the Raiders' D-line.

Josh Jacobs carried a heavy load during his rookie season. He's up for the task, but lightening the load wouldn't be such an awful idea.

 

With the top three needs well taken care of, the Raiders select Utah running back Zach Moss. He's a similar back to Jacobs, which means he can slide in and Gruden won't have to miss a beat play-calling wise when Jacobs needs a breather.

Moss has great vision excels at making people miss and is no stranger to contact.

Other A options: DT Davon Hamilton, LB Malik Harrison
We'll accept it: OL John Simpson, WR Van Jefferson, EDGE Curtis Weaver
Try again: EDGE Jabari Zuniga

Third round (No. 91 overall) -- Troy Dye, LB, Oregon

With running back and defensive tackle taken care of, the Raiders grab an athletic linebacker who is tough as nails and will thrive in coverage and in space. Dye needs to get bigger and stronger, but he should be able to develop into a plus-starter at the NFL level.

Immediately he can help on special teams and be a good depth piece.

He also has a nose for the football.

Other A options: WR Bryan Edwards
We'll accept it: CB Amik Robertson
Try again: LB Logan Wilson

[RELATED: Claypool leads best Raiders Day 2 fits]

Fourth and Fifth rounds -- K'Von Wallace, S Clemson & Saahdiq Charles, OT/G, LSU

The Raiders round out the perfect draft by addressing two semi-needs with talented players from winning programs.

Wallack joins Mullen and Terrell in what is quickly becoming an all-Clemson secondary. He profiles as a slot corner at the NFL level but can play safety in a pinch. His man coverage ability isn't top-notch but he won't be asked to start right away. He can contribute on special teams and be a solid depth piece.

As for Charles, he's got the size and bend to become a starter at the NFL level. At 6-foot, 327 pounds, he has quick feet and has a smooth ability to re-direct. He's only been an offensive lineman for four years, so his best football could very well be ahead of him. He'd be a solid backup with the ability to be a swing tackle or even kick inside and play guard.

There are too many Day 3 possibilities to list, but I did look very hard at Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus in Round 5, but felt two receivers was enough.

There's your A-plus. Go hang it on the fridge.