Raiders

NFL mock draft 2020: CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs tied to Raiders

NFL mock draft 2020: CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs tied to Raiders

It's almost the end of #MOCKSZN.

With the 2020 NFL Draft just over a week away, draft analysts everywhere are updating their mock drafts and defending their picks.

The Raiders own the Nos. 12 and 19 draft picks, and have many needs to fill. Coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock must hit another home run for their rebuild to be successful.

Let's take a look at how the latest mock drafts have the Raiders using their two first-round picks.

[RELATED: Five bold Raiders draft predictions that could happen]

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN: CB CJ Henderson (No. 12), QB Jordan Love (No. 19)
Henderson: "After picking three players in the first round in 2019, the Raiders have two more this year. And just like 2019, they still have needs in the secondary, where they got solid play from second-round pick Trayvon Mullen but don't have much else at cornerback. Henderson would be an upgrade."
Love: "Now you'll see why I passed on Love for the Raiders at No. 12. Since I'm not going to predict trades in this Mock Draft, I feel good about Love being here. Now, that could change on draft day, and a team could move above the Raiders to get him. But this would be a coup for Las Vegas, which isn't tied to Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota past 2020. If Jon Gruden & Co. decide to pass on a quarterback, wide receiver is the most likely position for them to target."

Bucky Brooks, NFL Media: WR Jerry Jeudy (No.12), LB Patrick Queen (No. 19)
Jeudy: "As a former receivers coach, Jon Gruden has an affinity for polished route runners, which makes Jeudy the ideal WR1 for the Raiders."
Queen: "Infusing the defense with more explosive athletes like Queen would help the Raiders close the gap on their division rivals."

Dalton Johnson and Josh Schrock, NBC Sports Bay Area: WR Henry Ruggs (No.12), CB A.J. Terrell (No. 30 after trade with Green Bay Packers)
Ruggs:  "Speed kills and 4.27 speed is lethal. Ruggs isn't just combine fast, he's figured out how to play at that speed on every snap. Jon Gruden wants his own Tyreek Hill and now he's got him."
Terrell: "The Raiders kept trading down in 2019 and still landed Trayvon Mullen with the No. 40 overall pick. Now, they add his college teammate after trading down and picking up a second-round pick they hope to use on another receiver. Everything's coming up Raiders."

Tom Fornelli, CBS Sports: WR Henry Ruggs (No. 12), CB Kristian Fulton (No. 19)
Ruggs: "There is no receiver in this draft with a higher ceiling than Ruggs. He can develop into an Antonio Brown-like player, and he's extremely dangerous in the return game."
Fulton: "The Raiders go back to the SEC West to address another one of their biggest needs. Fulton and Ruggs would be a terrific start to their 2020 draft."

Tyler Roman, NBC Sports Washington: WR CeeDee Lamb (No. 12), QB Jordan Love (No. 19)
Lamb: "The Raiders get a complete wide receiver to help provide what they thought they were getting in Antonio Brown. Lamb is one of my favorite WR prospects in this class with the way he competes, runs routes, and attacks the ball in the air."
Love: "Jon Gruden’s favorite QB is always his next one so I think he pulls the trigger on Derek Carr’s successor here at 19. Love had a tremendous sophomore year with 30 touchdowns and just six interceptions but fell off last year with a nation-leading 17 picks. A lot of that is contributed to a loss of playmakers and a new coaching staff though."

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Tim Brown rips Bill Callahan as 'worst thing' to happen to Raiders

Tim Brown rips Bill Callahan as 'worst thing' to happen to Raiders

Tim Brown and Bill Callahan probably won't be making plans to go out the brunch anytime soon.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer has been a vocal critic of his former coach for a long time. He blames Callahan and his last-second game plan change as the reason Pro Bowl center Barret Robbins disappeared prior to Super Bowl XXXVII. As far as Brown is concerned, the Raiders would have been better off if Callahan never coached the Silver and Black.

"I think this guy was probably the worst thing that ever happened to the Raiders organization," Brown said on NBC Sports' Sports Uncovered podcast, which details Robbins' Super Bowl disappearance.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Callahan's attitude and the way he dealt with players rubbed a number of Raiders the wrong way.

"The way he handled his guys, the way he talked to men, the way he approached, and the lack of respect that he had for men, people had an issue with him," Anthony Dorsett said.

It wasn't just the struggles of a first-year coach, though. Brown says he and other Raiders tried to get Jon Gruden to cut Callahan loose while the latter was offensive coordinator.

"We tried to get Callahan fired in '98 and '99," Brown recalled. "He walked off the field twice. At the middle fourth quarter of games that we should've won, we weren't winning. 'You guys don't want to win here. I don't know why I came here.' Walked off the field. Went to Gruden, Gruden went, 'Hey, guy's emotional, whatever.' Did the same thing in '99. and we went to him again. We said, 'You got to fire this guy. We can't have a coach walk off in the middle of the game on us.' And Gruden wouldn't fire him. So from that standpoint on, we understood that Callahan was in a seperate category."

When Gruden was traded prior to the 2002 season, a number of players went to owner Al Davis to ask him to hire Callahan, believing they were on the cusp of greatness following the heartbreaking loss in the "Tuck Rule Game" the year before.

But the differences between Gruden and Callahan were stark, and things with the Raiders changed.

"Dudes would play for Gru," Dorsett said. "Dudes would play for Gru. They love him, you know what I'm saying? When Callahan became the coach we played for each other.

"When he addressed the team as head coach, he was like, 'I don't need any more friends. So, that's not what I'm worried about here."

It was clear almost immediately to Brown that this wasn't the right call.

"Callahan didn't care about us," Brown said. "He could care less about us. It was a job for him. WIth Gruden, there were relationships there."

[RELATED: Would Raiders have won Super Bowl if Robbins played?]

Despite the lack of connection with Callahan, the Raiders steamrolled through the regular season and into the Super Bowl, where Gruden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were waiting.

The Raiders, filled with swagger, thought the title was theirs. But a confluence of events, including Robbins' disappearance and Callahan's decision to change the game plan on Friday, left them shellshocked entering Qualcomm Stadium.

The Bucs were ready for everything the Raiders threw at them, and some members of the Silver and Black swear Gruden knew what plays were coming.

The 48-21 demolition by the Bucs led some to charge Callahan with purposefully handing his former boss a title.

"We have guys on the sideline at the Super Bowl, who are trying to get the head coach," Brown said. "Guys who want to fight him, at the Super Bowl. On the sideline. In the locker room. That's all anybody was talking about. 'This is sabotage, Callahan. You did this for Gruden!' "

Callahan has denied the accusations. He was fired after the following season when the Raiders posted a 4-12 record.

Was it sabotage? Doubtful. But it's clear Callahan was in over his head from Day 1 as the leader of the Silver and Black.

Raiders claim Jon Gruden, Buccaneers knew their plays in Super Bowl XXXVII

Raiders claim Jon Gruden, Buccaneers knew their plays in Super Bowl XXXVII

Editor’s note: Sports Uncovered, the newest podcast from NBC Sports, shines a fresh light on some of the most unforgettable moments in sports. The fifth episode tells the story of "The Mysterious Disappearance that Changed a Super Bowl," chronicling Barret Robbins' absence from Super Bowl XXXVII.

The Raiders arrived at Super Bowl XXXVII prepared to reclaim their rightful place atop the NFL. Only their old coach Jon Gruden and the Tampa Bay Buccanneers stood in their way.

The Silver and Black were confident in a victory. They were armed with the No. 1 offense in the NFL, and weren't scared of the Bucs. By now you're aware of the story. Pro Bowl center Barret Robbins went missing the night before the game and the Raiders were trounced 48-21.

After the thrashing, the excuses started flowing from the Raiders. The fingers were pointed at Robbins for going missing and at coach Bill Callahan for his drastic last-minute game plan alteration. But while Robbins' disappearance -- which is the focus of NBC Sports' latest episode of their Sports Uncovered podcast series -- had a big impact, many Raiders believe the Gruden effect played a bigger role, believing the Bucs knew what plays they were running.

"Every level of the defense knew what we were doing," former right tackle Lincoln Kennedy said. "They knew what to look for when we checked versus a blitz. They knew where we were going with the ball. They knew Rich's rotation."

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

"You have never played a football game where 95 percent of the plays, the other team, they can guess what plays you are running based on scheme," Mo Collins recalled in 2011. "But these guys, we was breaking the huddle, and they was calling out our formation, and bossing over to our formations." (Mo Collins died in 2014. He was 38.)

If the Bucs did know the Raiders' plays, the blame should fall on Callahan for not switching up the checks from when Gruden coached the Raiders the year prior.

"I played with some of them after the fact," former defensive tackle Sam Adams said. " And they're like, 'We cannot believe you're using the same checks, and the same terminology.' We -- I mean Gruden ran practice saying, 'He's using the same stuff that he put in.' Come on. How can that be?"

To members of the Bucs, though, all this talk are just excuses for the beating they laid on the Raiders.

"It's the same offense that Jon Gruden ran when he was there," former Bucs defensive tackle Booger McFarland said. So, we practiced against the same offense for a year. So, if you're not going to change any of the same audibles that Gruden uses in Tampa, that's on you."

[RELATED: Al Davis never got over Super Bowl loss to Bucs]

The Raiders walked into Qualcomm Stadium without their Pro Bowl center, and with a game plan that was barely 48 hours old. They left with their tail between their legs.

Looking back on the loss, none of that mattered. The Raiders were instilled as four-point favorites, but that line was off.

That was always Gruden and the Bucs' Super Bowl to win.