Raiders

Raiders

The Raiders are in desperate need of a top-end wide receiver. That's no big secret, and it's not breaking news that the Silver and Black will look to fill that Antonio Brown-sized hole in this week's NFL draft.

General manager Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden own the Nos. 12 and 19 overall picks and will have a deep and talented class of game-changing receiver prospects to choose from. Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb and Alabama's Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy are seen as the top three receivers in the class, with LSU's Justin Jefferson not far behind. Choosing between Lamb, Jeudy and Ruggs is like choosing between a Maserati, Aston Martin and a Bentley. You can't go wrong, you just have to ask yourself which one fits your style the most.

For Mayock, the answer reportedly is Lamb.

In his latest Football Morning In America column, NBC Sports' Peter King reported that Mayock "loves" Lamb and that the Raiders general manager views the Oklahoma star as the "most complete receiver in the draft."

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I've long trumpeted my belief that Lamb is the top receiver in this loaded draft class. He's a YAC king, with incredible hands, instincts, ball skills and body control. He profiles as a No. 1 receiver at the NFL level who can be the focal point of a passing attack and beat defenses at all three levels.

 

Lamb doesn't have the blistering game-changing speed of Ruggs. In fairness, not many do. I can understand why Ruggs' explosive speed would entice Gruden, that kind of speed is hard to find and it can make all the difference. There are no knocks against Jeudy. He's polished, versatile and should be effective immediately.

There is no wrong answer. That being said, if Mayock does indeed "love" Lamb, he should follow his gut and put the Sooners star in silver and black if possible.

There's nothing Lamb can't do. At 6-foot-2, 198 pounds with 4.5 speed and home-run ability after the catch, Lamb already is drawing comparisons to DeAndre Hopkins. His physicality, angry running style and versatility make him the perfect alpha receiver for Gruden's offense, no matter who the quarterback ends up being.

His route-running improved a lot over his final season at Oklahoma.

He doesn't mind blocking.

Did I mention the YAC ability?

There might be "questions" about Lamb's ability to separate at the NFL level, but I'm not concerned about it. He'll be able to contribute immediately on Day 1 and comes with Hopkins-type upside. Adding Lamb to an offense that lacked a game-changing threat on the outside would give the Raiders' offense a dimension it desperately needs to compete in the wide-open offense era of the NFL.

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In the most loaded receiver class in quite some time, Lamb stands alone and we already know he looks great in silver and black.

The Raiders just have to hope no one else grabs him first.