Raiders

Raiders 2020 NFL Draft grades: Experts provide mixed reviews for class

Raiders 2020 NFL Draft grades: Experts provide mixed reviews for class

In typical Raiders fashion, speed seemed to be priority No. 1 for general manager Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden.

The duo got things started with all-world athlete Henry Ruggs at wide receiver, following that up with other offensive weapons like Kentucky athlete Lynn Bowden and South Carolina’s Bryan Edwards.

In total, seven players make up the franchise's first draft class in Las Vegas.

Here’s how pundits around the NFL graded the Raiders’ 2020 group:

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN

Grade: B
Analysis: "This is a very Raiders draft, right? They reached for the fastest prospect in the class in the first round. They took three wide receivers in their first four picks. And coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock took two more Clemson prospects, making that five total over the past two drafts."

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Chad Reuter, NFL.com

Grade: B
Analysis: "The Raiders spent three of their five premium picks on targets for quarterback Derek Carr (Ruggs III, Bowden, Edwards), and used the other two to improve the back seven (Arnette, Muse). Simpson offers power on the offensive line, though was inconsistent. I'm guessing we'll continue to see more of the quickness he put on display during Senior Bowl practices. Robertson is an outstanding football player who happens to be 5-foot-8 and coming off injury. He'll be a beast for the Raiders in the slot, and I wouldn't count him out at any other spot in the secondary."

Pro Football Focus staff

Grade: C
Analysis: "Don't just call Ruggs a speedster. He's a complete route-runner with legit ball skills, as well. He doesn't have to just be a deep threat, but he looks like a sure thing in that regard. Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb were still available and higher on PFF’s big board, but Ruggs offers speed you won’t find anywhere else and still ranked 10th among all players on PFF’s board in the 2020 class."

[RELATED: Raiders undrafted free agent signing tracker]

Luke Easterling, Draft Wire

Grade: B
Analysis: "Derek Carr now has a trio of talented pass-catchers, headlined by Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III, an explosive big-play machine and the first receiver off the board.
The Raiders reached for Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette at No. 19 overall, then had to sit out the entire second round while corners who would have been better values at No. 19 came off the board much later. The triple-dip at receiver came in the third round with South Carolina’s Bryan Edwards and Kentucky’s do-it-all Lynn Bowden, Jr., giving Carr an embarrassment of riches."

Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated

Grade: C+
Analysis: "We learned last year that the Raiders badly want a stud wide receiver, and now they have one who can actually be counted on. Henry Ruggs III has effortless, jaw-dropping speed, and he can produce at all three levels. That’s notable because few offensive architects are as creative and diverse in three-level passing concepts as Jon Gruden. Ruggs also presents terrifying big-play potential on jet sweeps and quick screens."

Raiders place Maxx Crosby, Rod Smith on NFL's COVID-19 reserve list

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USATSI

Raiders place Maxx Crosby, Rod Smith on NFL's COVID-19 reserve list

Raiders coach Jon Gruden on Thursday talked about the need to adapt every day to the practice availability of his players.

It went without saying he was referring to the potential impact of COVID-19, the constant shadow he and the Raiders will be operating under this year.

By late afternoon, that possibility became a reality when Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby and running back Rod Smith were added to the COVID-19 injured reserve list.

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Why Raiders' Derek Carr is so excited to work with rookie receivers

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USATSI

Why Raiders' Derek Carr is so excited to work with rookie receivers

The joined-at-the-hip nature of the quarterback-coach relationship sometimes means the quarterback being privy to the thought process of the coach. So it was in the days leading up to last April’s draft when Raiders coach Jon Gruden looped in Derek Carr on a pair of prospects the Raiders were targeting.

He said, ‘Look, I like this guy and I like that guy.’ ” Carr remembers Gruden telling him the day before the draft.

It was Carr’s first introduction to Alabama’s Henry Ruggs and South Carolina’s Bryan Edwards, two dynamic college wide receivers Carr would soon be calling teammates.

Read more on the Review-Journal