The Raiders need help at the linebacker position, and sitting at No. 12 overall, they could get the marquee player at the position in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Raiders hold two first round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, and like they did last year, they must bring in quality guys who can start right away. During the 2019 NFL Draft, the Raiders added a starting edge rusher, running back and safety, though Johnathan Abram was lost for the season after Week 1, and Clelin Ferrell took a bit to get going at the NFL level.
Their second of three first rounders, Josh Jacobs, made an immediate impact, and should go home with NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. In 2020, the Raiders hold the No. 12 and No. 19 overall picks, the 12th coming via their 7-9 season, and the 19th due to the fact they traded away Khalil Mack prior to the 2018 season.
Looking at the 2020 NFL Draft class, the Raiders have some players they must be targeting leading up their first season in Las Vegas. The most immediate needs are linebacker and wide receiver, and at No. 12 overall, they have a chance to get the best linebacker available, who happens to be one of the more versatile defensive players in the draft class.
At 12, Isaiah Simmons from Clemson is the player the Raiders should be coveting, as he is the kind of athletic linebacker that this defense is lacking. Simmons is an outstanding tackler, can come off the edge, and is solid in coverage, which was an area that opposing teams attacked the Raiders linebackers in 2019.
So how does Simmons fall to the Raiders at 12?
Raiders Land Simmons
Looking at those teams picking in front of the Raiders, there is a certainty that quarterbacks are going to go in the first ten picks. Joe Burrow, an Ohio native, is the likely choice for the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 1 overall, and Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa should hear his name soon after. Oregon's Justin Herbert is also slated for the first ten picks.
If Burrow goes 1, Chase Young from Ohio State is likely to go at No. 2 to the Washington Redskins, leaving the Detroit Lions with their choice at No. 3. Some feel that they may trade out of this spot, as they do not have an immediate need for a quarterback, and there are plenty of teams behind them who need one.
The New York Giants pick at four, and need offensive line help, while Miami sits at No. 5, and needs a quarterback. The Los Angeles Chargers also need a fresh start at the quarterback position, and have the No. 6 overall pick, as do the Carolina Panthers, who select at No. 7.
From here, this is where it gets tricky, as the Arizona Cardinals do not need a quarterback, but could get their 2019 first overall selection, Kyler Murray, some help on the outside. Jacksonville needs help on both sides of the ball at No. 9, and you have to think that both the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets will be looking to upgrade their offensive lines to protect their young quarterbacks.
That leaves the Raiders at No. 12, and with a serious chance to select Isaiah Simmons. Of course, the NFL Draft is not an exact science, but based on those teams picking before the Raiders, landing arguably the perfect player for this roster is possible.
The Clemson players the Raiders brought in last year showed out, and adding Simmons to that mix would be the absolute best-case scenario at No. 12 overall. This is a need that must be addressed this offseason, and in Simmons, they would be getting a Day 1 starter at a position group that is a liability heading into the team's first season in Vegas.