The Las Vegas Raiders have a chance to kickstart the franchise in a big way as they move to Sin City in 2020, and this mock draft reflects exactly that.
With two first-round picks, the Raiders picked up two of the best offensive players in the 2020 NFL Draft. From there, they continued to build upon last year’s success with key pickups in the middle rounds.
Here’s one way the Raiders could see the draft play out in 2020 — a full seven-round mock draft for your enjoyment.
First round, 12th pick: Justin Herbert, quarterback, Oregon
It was pretty stunning to see Justin Herbert fall right into Jon Gruden’s lap here at No. 12 overall. The Raiders did just pick up Marcus Mariota, but his contract is highly incentive-laden. It wouldn’t be shocking whatsoever to see Gruden jump at the chance to coach up this big-armed quarterback, whose ceiling is exceptionally high.
Herbert wouldn’t be under any pressure to start in his first year, but by the start of the 2021 season he very well could be QB1 in Las Vegas. Derek Carr barely has any guaranteed money left on his deal, and the Raiders have actively been shopping him this offseason.
First round, 19th pick: Jerry Jeudy, wide receiver, Alabama
This was shocking. It’s hard to imagine Jeudy will last this long come draft day, but the mock draft simulator we used (via The Draft Network) provided a veritable gift from the football gods for the Raiders this time around. Pairing Jeudy with Herbert to build the offense into a juggernaut would be just what the doctor ordered for Gruden to realize his vision in the years to come.
Jeudy is a route-running stud. He gains separation with slick footwork and has incredible abilities after the catch. He’d immediately become WR1 for the Raiders as a rookie with the potential to blossom into a superstar in short order, no matter who is under center.
Third round, 80th pick: Amik Robertson, cornerback, Louisiana Tech
One of the most-underrated players in the entire 2020 NFL Draft, Amik Robertson would be a tremendous addition to a Raiders secondary that, while improved of late, is still in need of an upgrade.
Though he’s a small-school prospect, Robertson has big-time playmaking abilities. Pro Football Focus has highlighted Robertson’s amazing coverage skill numerous times, and back in December it noted he “was targeted 78 times this season, allowing just 41 receptions (52.6%) while forcing 19 incompletions himself.”
Third round, 81st pick: Ashtyn Davis, safety, California
The epitome of a “Gruden grinder,” Ashtyn Davis brings the fire on every single play. If not for a season-ending injury and a medical red flag at the Senior Bowl, Davis might have been a second-round pick in the draft. He has outstanding range and doesn’t shy away from getting physical to bring down ball-carriers. If he can stay healthy, Davis has a chance to not only start as a free safety at the NFL level but develop into a star.
Third round, 91st pick: Jordan Elliott, defensive tackle, Missouri
Developing depth and talent a long the interior of their defensive line is a huge key for the Raiders heading into the 2020 season. With that in mind, landing an ascending player like Elliott, who is a behemoth against the run, would go a long way toward doing just that. Elliott is exceptionally strong and stout inside. He is 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds of pure, raw power. If he can develop better technique equal to his physical abilities he’ll be an unstoppable force in the years to come.
Fourth round, 121st pick: Kenny Willekes, defensive end, Michigan State
The Raiders struck pure gold last season when they selected Maxx Crosby in the fourth round out of Eastern Michigan. They can do it again here by using their fourth-round pick to draft Kenny Willekes, who plays with the same relentless motor that made Crosby a star. He got better every year at Michigan State and was highly productive, racking up 26 sacks the past three seasons. The best thing about this former Spartan is that Willekes has the ability to slide inside and could become a dynamo in pass-rushing packages.
Fifth round, 159th pick: Isaiah Hodgins, wide receiver, Oregon State
More fuel for the offense here. Hodgins is an underrated receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft class who caught 13 touchdowns last season and has been gaining momentum the more scouts look into his tape. Recently, former NFL cornerback Eric Crocker revealed Hodgins is the No. 8 receiver on his board, noting he has the lowest drop rate of any receiver in the class. If the Raiders add him to their offensive arsenal, this team could take off in a big way.