Raiders

NFL mock draft 2020: Raiders grab elite receiver, address secondary

NFL mock draft 2020: Raiders grab elite receiver, address secondary

The Raiders have glaring needs out wide and in the secondary.

Their passing offense struggled after Antonio Brown ejected himself to the moon, and they need to find a cornerback to pair opposite Trayvon Mullen. A long-term answer at safety and a franchise defensive tackle also could be in the cards as the Raiders prepare for the 2020 NFL Draft. With two picks in the first round -- Nos. 12 and 19 -- general manager Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden have a golden opportunity to stack more talent on top of the loaded 2019 draft class.

The prevailing logic has the Raiders using one of their top picks on an elite wide receiver and the other on a plug-and-play corner. NBC Sports Bay Area's Dalton Johnson and Josh Schrock have the Raiders selecting Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy at No. 12 and Alabama safety Xavier McKinney at No. 19.

[RELATED: Six WRs for Raiders to target later in NFL draft]

With the draft quickly approaching, let's see what some of the top draft experts expect the Silver and Black to do.

Todd McShay, ESPN: WR CeeDee Lamb (No. 12), S Antoine Winfield (No. 19)
Lamb: "The Raiders were pretty active on the defensive side of the ball in free agency, so we're looking at offense here. Lamb is incredible after the catch and could be Vegas' No. 1 receiver. Tyrell Williams isn't the answer, and with both Lamb and Alabama burner Henry Ruggs III still on the board, the Raiders have to get quarterback Derek Carr a weapon."
Winfield: "Earlier in Round 1, we slotted Vegas with a top-tier wide receiver to help the offensive passing game. Now, we're diving in on a defensive passing game that is in need of a punch. Corner is definitely a bigger issue than safety, but Winfield has tremendous versatility. He is undersized, but he is a hard-hitting tackler with ball skills. Coach Jon Gruden would love bringing in this kid."

Mel Kiper, ESPN: CB CJ Henderson (No. 12), WR Tee Higgins (No. 19)
Henderson: "After the Raiders signed both Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkowski in free agency, you can scratch off-ball linebacker from their list of needs. That still leaves wide receiver and cornerback, though. And since Las Vegas has two first-round picks and this class of receivers is much deeper at the top than the cornerback group, let's give Jon Gruden & Co. a potential No. 1 corner in Henderson here. He had an up-and-down 2019 season, but he cemented his standing as the second-ranked cornerback in this class at the combine, where he ran a 4.39 40. The Raiders get to grab a receiver at No. 19. Could Vegas be an option if one of the other quarterbacks -- Justin Herbert or Jordan Love -- make it here?"
Higgins: "If the Raiders take a cornerback at No. 12, they have to address receiver here. They can't go into the season with Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow and Nelson Agholor as Derek Carr's top wideouts. So how about Renfrow's college teammate, Higgins, a 6-foot-3 pass-catcher with elite ball skills. Higgins isn't a speedster -- he didn't work out at the combine, but he ran a 4.54 40 at his pro day -- but he could be an instant red zone threat for Carr."

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: WR Jerry Jeudy (No. 12), CB A.J. Terrell (No. 19)
Jeudy: "This decision would likely come down to Jeudy versus Javon Kinlaw. I would applaud either choice."
Terrell: "Terrell would reunite with his college teammate, Trayvon Mullen, to give the Raiders two tall, long and rangy CBs to build their secondary around."

Dan Kader, SB Nation: WR Henry Ruggs III (No. 12), CB CJ Henderson (No. 19)
Ruggs: "With two first-round picks and three third-round picks, the Raiders could get creative. But in a draft featuring three elite wide receiver prospects, they could hold on to their picks and risk it. I continue to go back and forth on the order the top three receivers will come off the board."
Henderson: "The Raiders should be happy to walk away from the first day of the draft with new starters at wide receiver and cornerback. That’s what they get out of this mock draft. Henderson is a player with top-15 talent who could slide due to all the offensive tackles and wide receivers getting picked."

Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: WR Henry Ruggs III (No. 12), S Xavier McKinney (No. 19)
Ruggs: "Ruggs gets classified as a speed receiver -- and he is with that 4.27 40-yard-dash time -- but he’s also a polished route-runner and an all-around threat. Get him the football, and beautiful things happen. And maybe you’re surprised he’s the first receiver off the board, but you shouldn’t be. NFL teams covet speed over polish."
McKinney: "With the 12th selection, the Raiders went to Alabama for a game-changing wide receiver. At No. 19 overall, general manager Mike Mayock will dip back into Nick Saban’s program to add a utility-knife defender with coverage skills who might be the answer to the tight ends in the AFC West."

Tyler Roman, NBC Sports Washington: WR Jerry Jeudy (No 12.), QB Jordan Love (No. 19)
Jeudy: "Jeudy’s route running ability is some of the best you will ever see from a college player. His separation skills are unreal and he can get open against any type of coverage. He’s a very smart player who knows how to set up his man and find the open areas in zone coverage."
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. Love has spectacular arm talent that will dazzle in the NFL with the right tutelage and players around him."

Raiders coaches play waiting game while NFL peers return to facilities

Raiders coaches play waiting game while NFL peers return to facilities

NFL coaches will be allowed to move back into their team facilities beginning Friday, but just when the Raiders’ staff checks into its Henderson headquarters remains to be seen.

Construction of the 335,000-square-foot facility is still being completed, though team officials hope to move into the building this month. Like coaches around the league, the Raiders’ staff has been working remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Moving trucks arrived on Monday to the Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center, the new headquarters, from the previous facility in Alameda, Calif.

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Why versatile rookie Lynn Bowden could be Raiders’ secret weapon

Why versatile rookie Lynn Bowden could be Raiders’ secret weapon

Word of warning to anyone wondering how the Raiders are preparing to utilize rookie Lynn Bowden this season: Don’t bother asking him. He isn’t at liberty to say.

“I’m really not permitted to speak about that right now,” Bowden said while taking a break from the Raiders virtual OTA’s.

The mum’s the word response wasn’t relayed out of anger or deceit. The outgoing Bowden can’t wait to get on the field in his first NFL season and is beyond excited to help the Raiders anyway he can. He’s open and frank about all that and doesn’t mind expressing it one bit.

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