NFL Draft 2020: Raiders in good position despite Bears’ win vs. Lions


NFL Draft 2020: Raiders in good position despite Bears’ win vs. Lions

A few weeks ago, it looked like the Bears -- who were sinking to the bottom of the NFL -- might be sending the Raiders a top-10 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to complete the Khalil Mack trade. 

That hope appears to be gone now. 

The Bears now have won three of their last four games, the latest a 24-20 win over the Lions on Thanksgiving. Chicago now sits at 6-6, but has a difficult schedule to finish the season. Still, a 6-10 record likely won't be enough for the Bears to drop back into the top 10, with so many NFL teams racking up the losses this season. (Yes, we're talking about you Bengals, Dolphins, Washington, Giants, Lions, Broncos and Jaguars.)

Still, all hope is not lost for the Silver and Black. There still are a number of great prospects that will be available in the middle of the first round. Yes, that probably means Isaiah Simmons and Derrick Brown no longer are an option, but again, that doesn't mean all hope is lost. 

We already looked at a few of the Raiders' potential draft targets, but let's pinpoint a few more that might grab Jon Gruden's attention. 

Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

If we've seen anything this season, it's that the Raiders need to find a long-term solution in the middle of their defense. Yes, they like Vontaze Burfict and he might be back next season, but they need more than a veteran on a one-year deal. Enter: Dylan Moses. 

The Alabama linebacker is an explosive player, with sideline-to-sideline ability and a nose for the football. He missed this season with a torn ACL, so it's unclear if he'll remain in school to improve his draft stock or come out, but he'd be a great fit in Paul Guenther's defense. 

Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

We know the Raiders need a wide receiver. Oklahoma star CeeDee Lamb and Alabama burner Henry Ruggs both would be ideal targets, but we've covered them before. So, let's talk about one of the under-the-radar receivers in the elite 2020 class -- Tee Higgins.

At 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, the Clemson star is the perfect big-body wide receiver for the NFL. Higgins is an improved route runner who excels at boxing out smaller defenders and going up and high-pointing the ball for big downfield gains. Higgins has been a big vertical threat for Trevor Lawrence and could be the same for Derek Carr. 

Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

Shed a tear for missing out on Derrick Brown, who almost certainly will go in the top-10. Still, Kinlaw wouldn't be a bad consolation prize for a Raiders team that needs a force in the middle to help shore up the defensive line.

Kinlaw moves really well at 6-foot-6, 310 pounds. He's an explosive rusher who is a physical freak. The Raiders need help pressuring the passer and Kinlaw can provide that up the middle, making life easier for those on the outside. 

[RELATED: Carr plans to 'raise standards' for himself, Raiders rebuild]

K'Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU

This might be a bit of a reach in the middle of the first round, but Chaisson has elite pass-rushing skills, he just needs to stay on the field. After an incredible freshman season, the LSU star tore his ACL one game into his sophomore season. 

He hasn't been as dominant as many expected he would be this season. Chaisson has only notched two sacks and one forced fumble on an LSU defense that has been on the field a lot and has underperformed from a talent standpoint. The Raiders might not want to gamble on a boom-or-bust prospect like Chaisson, but expect him to be on their board come April. 

Las Vegas Raiders can use Tom Brady to build business, Jay Glazer says

Las Vegas Raiders can use Tom Brady to build business, Jay Glazer says

While Derek Carr was in Las Vegas for the Raiders' official rebranding this week, speculation about Tom Brady joining the Silver and Black continues to simmer.

Two weeks ago, The Athletic's Jay Glazer said that Brady to the Raiders is a "no-brainer" because it would help with ticket sales, among other things.

On Friday, Glazer added a bit more context when asked again about where Brady will play next season.

"I said it last week, the Chargers or the Raiders," Glazer wrote. "I spoke about the business side of things. You guys kind of jumped on me talking about how great ticket sales are for the Raiders. I don’t know if I said ticket sales or not but there’s way more than ticket sales when you’re building up a business. They can use Tom Brady to build the business of the Raiders, which will now be an international team. I say that because of all the big business whales from all over the world who are going to come to Las Vegas and now be exposed to the Raiders.

"That’s going to be a hot ticket. The international marketing will be huge. The Raiders are going to be big players internationally with that. That’s why I would think it’s a brilliant move to go to Vegas."

Brady, who will turn 43 years old before the start of the 2020 NFL season, is a free agent and could move on from the Patriots, the only franchise he has ever known.

Carr is under contract with the Raiders for three more seasons, and recently said he is "looking forward" to being under center for the first snap in Las Vegas. But head coach Jon Gruden didn't give the most glowing endorsement of Carr after the regular-season finale in December.

All of this has fueled chatter that the Raiders could bring in Brady to help open their first season in Sin City.

[RELATED: Kiper has Raiders taking two Sooners]

While Brady led the Patriots to a 12-4 record this past season, his numbers declined, suggesting that his best days are behind him.

If owner Mark Davis and Gruden want to win games and continue to build a solid foundation for the future, they'll stick with Carr. If they are more concerned with making a sexy splash, they'll make the change to Brady.

Derek Carr 'looking forward' to being QB in Raiders' Las Vegas opener

Derek Carr 'looking forward' to being QB in Raiders' Las Vegas opener

Out of a possible 96 starts since being drafted by the Raiders in 2014, quarterback Derek Carr has been under center for 94 of them.

But after a disappointing 7-9 season, many Raiders fans have clamored for a change at the game’s most important position.

Carr, however, hasn’t paid the rumors or social media fodder too much attention.

“But I'll say it this way,” Carr said (h/t ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez). “I look forward to taking the first snap in that stadium, and I look forward to taking every snap from here on out -- until I'm done."

The 28-year-old had a career year in 2019, setting career-highs in passing yards (4,054), yards per attempt (7.9), and quarterback rating (100.8).

But coach Jon Gruden grew frustrated with Carr’s inability to throw the ball downfield consistently, and some potential free agent quarterbacks reportedly have caught the Raiders’ eye.

[RELATED: Raiders should pay attention to these 10 Senior Bowl stars]

As the team re-brands and moves into its new home in Sin City, some believe the team will bring on a new starting signal-caller to usher in the Las Vegas Raiders era.

Just don’t count Carr among them.