The Oakland Raiders added star power in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but they added some elite pieces in the following rounds as well.
During the 2019 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders held three first round picks, this thanks to trading away stars like edge rusher Khalil Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper. With those three first rounders, the Silver and Black added a quality edge rusher in Clelin Ferrell, a star at the running back position in Josh Jacobs, and a lightning rod in the secondary in safety Johnathan Abram.
While Ferrell took some time to get going, he has emerged as a legitimate threat on the edge for the Raiders, and had a monster sack late in the team’s win against the Los Angeles Chargers this past weekend. Abram has missed nearly the entire season due to a shoulder injury, but he is expected to lead the defensive backfield in 2020.
With their second of three first rounders the Raiders grabbed Jacobs, who is the front-runner to win Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. His contributions to this Raiders team have been numerous in 2019, and he has done most of his damage with a torn up shoulder, which has forced him to miss two of the last three games.
Based on what we saw this season, Oakland definitely hit on their first three selections, but they did just as much damage later on. In the second round, the Raiders added cornerback Trayvon Mullen, who looks all the part of a CB1 as he has started to get major playing time in recent weeks.
Cornerback has been a serious issue for the Raiders in recent seasons, and Mullen has shown he can be both physical, and great in coverage.
Without a third round pick, the Raiders needed to hit big on their four fourth rounders, and they came away with three players who will certainly be a part of the future in Las Vegas. With their first of three fourth rounders, the Silver and Black added Maxx Crosby, who has become one of the more feared young pass rushers in the division, and has star written all over him.
The second fourth round pick, Isaiah Johnson, has not done much as a rookie, but he is definitely a part of the future in the defensive backfield. Oakland rounded out the fourth round by adding LSU tight end Foster Moreau, who showed he not only can be a big part of the passing game, but is a stud of a blocker.
In the fifth round, Oakland selected Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, who had the game-winning catch in the national title game two years ago. Renfrow has proven to be a star in the slot for the Raiders, and his return on Sunday led to a 100-yard effort, including a 56-yard touchdown to get the scoring started.
We know what Jacobs means to this offense, and the production from Ferrell has been at a very high level in 2019. For the Raiders to do so well after the first round is a testament to general manager Mike Mayock, who has five more picks in the top-100 in 2020, including two more first round selections.
If 2020 is anything like 2019 was, the Raiders are building for the future the right way, and they have already nearly doubled their win total from a year ago through the first 15 games of the season. Oakland will become the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020, and with a spanking new building, and a bunch of young talent, their time as a doormat in the AFC is coming to an end.