The Raiders sit in an interesting position in the first round of the NFL draft. With the No. 12 and No. 19 overall picks, the Silver and Black appear to be in a good spot to address their two most glaring needs -- wide receiver and cornerback -- in Round 1.
With three quarterbacks, three to four offensive tackles and three to four defensive stars slated to go in the top 10, the Raiders are expected to be able to snag either one of the top three wide receivers or Florida cornerback CJ Henderson with their top pick.
But every year, a few prospects slide for one reason or another. Laremy Tunsil dropped after a video of him smoking weed in a gas mask was leaked. Everyone is well aware of Aaron Rodgers' fall to the Green Bay Packers, and La'el Collins being named in a murder investigation and not being cleared of any involvement until after the draft.
With the 2020 NFL Draft a few days away, a few top prospects have some red flags that could see them fall down the board.
First, Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton reportedly failed a drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine. While a failed drug test no longer is the scarlet letter it once was, it could see a few teams pass on Becton in favor of other top tackles Andrew Thomas, Tristan Wirfs and Jedrick Wills.
The other two notable names who could slide both are due to medical red flags. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had surgery on both ankles in college and dislocated his hip and fractured the posterior wall of the socket back in November. All reports are that he is healing as scheduled and he looked good mobility wise during his virtual pro day. However, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, teams have not been able to bring Tagovailoa in for meetings or an evaluation. While he shouldn't slide out of the top 10, there is a possibility teams won't want to take that big of a risk in the top five.
Finally, there's South Carolina's Javon Kinlaw. While Kinlaw never missed a game in college, he did have hip surgery in 2018 and knee issues prevented him from working out at the combine. At 6-foot-5, 324 pounds, Kinlaw is an athletic freak with little body fat. While those body types are to be marveled at, they also are the ones that seem to bring greater injury risk. Much like Tagovailoa, Kinlaw has been unable to visit teams and get checked out by their doctors to gauge the health of his knee and overall health.
For the Raiders, these three elite prospects dropping means a few things: First, if Becton and Tagovailoa, two presumed top 10 picks, do slide, there's a chance the player the Raiders are targeting at No. 12, whether it be CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs or Henderson, will have been snapped up by a team passing on a tackle or quarterback with red flags. Those two falling also could have teams calling the Raiders to move up and select a sliding future star. While trading No. 12 isn't advisable, if the Raiders were offered a deal that included multiple Day 2 draft picks then it's something they would have to at least consider, especially if Lamb and Henderson are off the board.
The Raiders also reportedly could "sniff" around to trade up for Tagovailoa if he were to drop. Tagovailoa was the most efficient quarterback in college football history, so the possibility of putting him in silver and black would be an enticing one that the Raiders would have to consider.
Kinlaw's slide could benefit the Raiders. Not expected to go until the mid-teens of the first round, if Kinlaw gets past the Atlanta Falcons at No. 16 and Dallas Cowboys at No. 17, the Raiders could have the second-best defensive tackle fall into their lap. While the best-case scenario for the Raiders likely has them take a top talent at No. 12, and trade down from No. 19 to add a second-round pick, adding a game-changing defensive tackle like Kinlaw and a top wide receiver either at No. 12 or in a slight trade back would still be a good haul on Day 1.
But that would leave them either waiting for the third round to draft a cornerback or scrambling to find a way into the second round to select Damon Arnette or perhaps Jaylon Johnson. Either way, it's a position general manager Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden might not want to find themselves in.
The draft rarely goes according to plan. After about the first three picks, every mock draft has been blown apart and the real fun begins.
The Raiders know what they want to do and how they hope the board shakes out. But everything changes once there's a massive reach or a top prospect falls.
Prepare for everything.