The Raiders have a golden opportunity in front of them next week. The Silver and Black own two first-round picks and three third-round selections in what is a deep and loaded 2020 NFL Draft.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this draft process will be different than general manager Mike Mayock's first run with the Raiders. Mayock will be in his home, surveying his own personal set up that he describes as a 1976 draft room with magnets all over the place.
Despite the perceived limitations a virtual draft brings, Mayock isn't overly concerned about how that might impact the Raiders' ability to move around the draft via trade, something they did quite a bit of last season.
"I hope there's no impact," Mayock said Tuesday on a conference call with local media. "I've got to spend time later this week once we get all of our telecommunications stuff set up, and I basically have to figure out -- and you know I'm about 100 years old -- I've got to sit here and test screen share and have four different people on one screen and make sure I understand if there are multiple trades going on at the same time, how we're handling it, how we're communicating, are we texting, can I see anything visually.
"Really the challenge for me -- because I'm not very good at that stuff, it's a lot easier when someone is passing me a note saying, 'Hey Atlanta wants to trade with you' while I'm on the phone with Detroit -- so I'm old-school in that I think if you practice enough at anything you can get good at it. I'm anxious to get the communication stuff into my house, I'm anxious to get everyone else around the country that I need to communicate with together, and I got to start practicing. I'll be the first to tell you, I'm clueless when it comes to sharing a screen."
Many expect the Raiders to be active trading in the draft as they were a season ago.
With zero picks in the second round, the Silver and Black no doubt would like to find a way to pick up one, perhaps by trading down from the No. 19 overall pick if their desired player already is off the board.
But as it stands right now, the Mayock is thrilled with the draft position the Raiders find themselves in. The general manager knows that having at least five picks in the first three rounds, the Silver and Black should be able to greatly improve their team if everything goes according to plan.
"I'm very thankful to have two first-round picks," Mayock said. "But we have three in the third. To me, three picks in the third is like stealing. If we're doing our job the right way, hopefully that's three more starters. Could we move up to get [between No. 20 and No. 60]? Could we move back to get one between 20 and 60? Sure. And again, we're running through every possible scenario that we could be looking at and we won't know until draft night or Day 2 or whatever.
"We are always open to something that makes sense for the Raiders. Would I love to get one from 20 to 60? Would we love to be 20 to 60? Sure. But we also love 12, 19, 80, 81, 91, 121 and 159. So it all depends on what happens while we're on the clock."
The Raiders' draft needs are clear. They must address the wide receiver position, likely twice. It's a perfect class to do just that. Cornerback is a glaring need and one the Silver and Black almost certainly will make a priority at the top of the draft. There's no doubt they'd like to add a defensive tackle who can play immediately and a running back to help carry the load with Josh Jacobs.
Expect Mayock and Gruden to be moving around the board as much as possible as they try to stack talent on top of talent and accelerate the rebuild.
The Raiders hit a home run -- hell, it was a grand slam -- with last year's draft class. If they do the same in 2020, the future will be unbelievably bright.