We're less than two weeks away from the 2020 NFL Draft, which will serve as another important moment in the Raiders' rebuilding project.
While rumors have swirled about the Raiders looking to take a defensive tackle with one of their two first-round picks, most see the Silver and Black going wide receiver and cornerback in some order in Round 1. That includes NBC Sports NFL insider Peter King, who said in his latest FMIA column that he believes the Raiders either will take Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb at No. 12 if available, or grab Florida cornerback CJ Henderson and then draft the best wideout available at No. 19.
King also said he wouldn't be surprised if the Raiders draft a wide receiver at No. 12 and then trade up from No. 19 to make sure they secure Henderson.
That's a logical thought process. A big-time playmaker, whether it be Lamb or Alabama's Henry Ruggs makes sense for the Raiders at No. 12.
The Silver and Black lack the ability to create explosive plays which forces them to rely on long, methodical drives in order to put up points. That greatly hampered their ability to score points on a consistent basis in 2019. King believes Lamb, with his great after-the-catch ability and strong culture fit, is exactly what the Raiders are looking for.
It's hard to argue that point. I've long been a fan of Lamb's game believing he could be a DeAndre Hopkins-type player if put in the right system. Ruggs also would be an intriguing fit as his blistering speed is something the Raiders have coveted while watching Tyreek Hill run wind sprints over their face for the last few seasons.
As for corner, the Raiders must do something.
After missing out on Byron Jones and Chris Harris Jr., in free agency, and having their deal with Eli Apple fall apart, the Raiders are left with a big zero at one cornerback spot.
Henderson is seen as the second-best corner in the class after Ohio State's Jeff Okudah. Okudah is a can't-miss prospect, one the Raiders should look to trade up and grab if he begins to slip. If they stand pat, it feels unlikely Henderson will be there at No. 19, as King suggests.
In Dalton Johnson and I's latest mock draft, we have Henderson going to the Denver Broncos at No. 15. With Henderson off the board, don't be surprised to see the Raiders trade down from No. 19 in order to pick up another Day 2 pick and select one of the next three best corners -- LSU's Kristian Fulton, Clemson's A.J. Terrell or Utah's Jaylon Johnson -- in the bottom of Round 1 or early in the second round.
King's thought of the Raiders trading up to grab Henderson is between No. 12 and No. 19 is something that feels unlikely given the Raiders' need for draft picks. If they don't think his coverage skills are elite enough to draft at No. 12, it's hard to see them surrendering draft capital for him a few picks later.
NBC Sports Bay Area Raiders insider Scott Bair and I have been going the rounds about what the Raiders should do at No. 12. He's adamant they should take Henderson. I say take the explosive playmaker since you have one budding star at corner in Trayvon Mullen and no home-run threats at wide receiver.
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It's a debate that's sure to rage until general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden log onto the NFL's virtual draft portal and enter their selection.
Then the debate truly will begin.