The Raiders took a step forward in 2019 but did so with mainly smoke and mirrors in the passing game.
Without Antonio Brown, the Raiders struggled to stretch the field vertically and only tight end Darren Waller and rookie receiver Hunter Renfrow proved to be reliable options for quarterback Derek Carr.
Jon Gruden has said he wants to be more explosive in the passing game, but to do that the Silver and Black will have to overhaul their receiving corps.
The 2020 NFL Draft will play a big part in that as the Raiders should allocate at least two, if not three selections to bringing in young, dynamic receivers.
WIth Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock on the hunt for explosive pass-catchers, their eyes should be on Orlando on Wednesday when No. 13 Alabama and No. 14 Michigan lock horns in the Citrus Bowl.
Here are five receivers the Silver and Black should be watching on New Year's Day in Orlando.
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Right now, Jeudy is seen as the cream of a loaded wide-receiver class. It's unlikely he falls out of the top 10 and to the Raiders at No. 12, but I expect Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb to overtake him as the top wideout after testing, and we could see teams opting to fill other needs early in the draft and taking one of the other talented receivers in the second round.
At 6-foot-1, 192 pounds, Jeudy is a polished route-runner with soft hands. He is great at tracking the ball vertically and he has been running by SEC defensive backs since he stepped foot on campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He has drawn comparisons to Cincinnati Bengals star A.J. Green and is projected to be an immediate impact player in the NFL.
Once again, it's unlikely he slips out of the top six, let alone top 11, but he's one to watch regardless.
Guys, the first play of Bama vs LSU and Jerry Jeudy retired Kristian Fulton. How the hell didn't I notice this until now? pic.twitter.com/52ROzuqWTy— Dalton Miller (@DaltonBMiller) December 17, 2019
BEAUTIFUL route by Jerry Jeudy pic.twitter.com/4ZHg78OQzN— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 9, 2019
Henry Ruggs, Alabama
Ruggs feels like the guy the Raiders will nab with one of their two first-round draft picks.
With Jeudy and Lamb off the board, the Raiders grab a guy with blistering speed who can help take the Raiders' offense from a dink-and-dunk passing attack to one that can be explosive down the field.
Ruggs has improved his route-running this season at Alabama and is electric with the ball in his hands. He's played mostly in the slot at Alabama but can play on the outside as well. He's a versatile guy who Gruden could find multiple ways to use.
We see you, Henry Ruggs. We see you. pic.twitter.com/GQNmmxa5rQ— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 24, 2018
DeVonta Smith, Alabama
The hero from the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, Smith isn't as fast as Ruggs or as explosive as Jeudy but he still has the chance to go in the first or early second round.
The 6-foot-1,175-pound receiver is great at creating separation and making people miss after the catch. He still has room to grow in his frame and needs to work on his body control to reach his ceiling. There still is some question as to whether or not Smith will declare for the draft or choose to return to Alabama and be part of a dynamic one-two punch with Jaylen Waddle.
If he does declare he could be an option for the Raiders at either No. 19 overall or perhaps on Day 2 of the draft if he's still available.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan
The junior receiver has lined up outside and in the slot for Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. At 6-foot-2, 204 pounds, Peoples-Jones has good hands and is able to adjust to balls that are thrown outside of his target radius.
He will need to polish his footwork at the NFL level and right now projects to be a likely Day 2 receiver. With the Raiders having three third-round draft picks, there's a possibility that Peoples-Jones will be calling Las Vegas home in 2020, if he decides to declare for the draft.
Peoples-Jones also can be used as a punt returner which would allow the Raiders to move on from Dwayne Harris, who missed most of the season with an ankle injury.
Go ahead and count the number of Buckeyes Donovan Peoples-Jones shed on this punt return. pic.twitter.com/i73w0YHeC9— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 25, 2017
[RELATED: Carr, Gruden address QB's uncertain future]
Nico Collins, Michigan
At 6-foot-4, 222 pounds, Collins has the body of an NFL receiver. While he has been hampered by the lackluster play of Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson, Collins still hauled in 33 passes for 681 yards and seven touchdowns this season.
He has a long, lean body that he uses well to shield off defenders and make contested catches. Collins shows good body control downfield and has a knack for high-pointing the football. He will need to work on his footwork at the snap, but Collins could be a good Day 2 receiver for the Raiders to target.
Collins has drawn comparisons to Chicago Bears wideout Allen Robinson.