The Raiders highly anticipated draft looms ahead and the CFP National Championship contains elite players to watch. Here's a few potential draft options the Raiders could take a look at during Monday night's championship showdown.
The Raiders hold five picks over the first three rounds in the 2020 NFL Draft. After hitting on a solid rookie class in 2019, the future looks bright as the team makes the move to Las Vegas.
Monday night, LSU will take on the former champion, Clemson Tigers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for this year's College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Both teams possess immense talent and many players won't have to wait very long to hear their name called on draft day.
As you sit down to take a look at the best players in college football tonight, remember, Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden attacked players who played in this game during the 2019 NFL Draft. Guys like Josh Jacobs, Hunter Renfrow, Clelin Ferrell, and Trayvon Mullen all made it to this game last year, so expect the two men making the decisions for this franchise to be tuned in as well.
Here's a list of players the Raiders could potentially target.
Kristian Fulton (CB)
It's clear, the Raiders have found a young foundational piece at cornerback with Trayvon Mullen, who played in this game last year as a member of the Clemson Tigers. Although, with that said, their secondary still experienced their fair share of issues during last season, so exploring options at cornerback still remains in the cards.
The talented Kristian Fulton still found ways to shine, despite playing alongside a loaded LSU secondary. Fulton entered the college ranks as the No.1 cornerback recruit entering the 2016 season, and now three years later he's lived up to the bill — ranking among the top cornerbacks in college football. Fulton plays with much fluidity in his coverage ability and that looks to translate well once he arrives in the NFL.
K'Lavon Chaisson (Edge)
Last year's draftee, Maxx Crosby provided a much-needed boost in pass rush, but more help on the defensive line still remains much-needed for Paul Gunther's defense. K'Lavon Chaisson ranks among a top three edge defender in this year's draft class.
Chaisson is a disruptive defender who consistently impacts the game in multiple ways. During the matchup against Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl, Chaisson recorded two sacks, six solo tackles and applied numerous pressures on quarterback Jalen Hurts. Chaisson possesses a rare combination of bend, while also utilizing a strong bull rush technique to get his hands on opposing quarterbacks. He's likely to hear his name called during the first half of round one.
Justin Jefferson (WR)
The Raiders are expected to target a wide receiver early in the 2020 draft. Justin Jefferson is an intriguing pass catcher who took large strides during his junior year, posting 1,434 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Obviously, he thrived in large part of catching passes from the consensus number one overall pick, Joe Burrow. However, Jefferson has helped build his stock in his own right, displaying good instincts and a crafty route runner who sets up defenders very effectively. Jefferson appears to be one of the potential seven wide receivers who could hear their name called on day one of the draft and certainly a player the Raiders may look to target near the end of round one.
Jacob Phillips (LB)
With the draft approaching in April, the Raiders find themselves in a similar position that they've been in many times before. They're desperate for linebacker help. This year's draft class contains a small list of linebackers with first round grades, so they could be limited in fixing their biggest need.
LSU's Jacobs Phillips is a player that projects as a mid-round pick, but still could provide an immediate impact in year one. Phillips has patrolled the second level of the Tigers' defense for two years, leading the team in tackles this season with 105. He can play the run exceptionally, recording four games with double-digit tackles this season.
While Phillips gets a lot of recognition for his tackling and ability too clog the holes on the offensive line, he's also been asked to play in space. Phillips is a legitimate option for the Raiders with one of their three third round selections.
Isaiah Simmons (LB/S)
There's no question that Isaiah Simmons would be the perfect match for the Raiders lackluster defense. Simmons is the most versatile defender in all of college football, and his level of play remains superior wherever he lines up. He's the only player to record at least six sacks and three interceptions among power five eligible players.
Simmons is likely to display his Swiss army knife mentality against LSU in the National Championship, showing he can play multiple positions against top-tier competition. He's likely to hear his name called in the top half of the first round and someone who's been linked to the Raiders for quite some time.
Tee Higgins (WR)
The Raiders lack of wide receiver production was an apparent flaw all season long. Tee Higgins possesses the size (6'4", 215 pounds) and speed to take the top of the defense which the Raiders were unable to do in 2019. Higgins torched the ACC all season long — recording an average of 19 yards per reception to combine with his 13 touchdowns.
He wins with superior length and uses physicality to break free. Higgins is projected to be a mid-first round pick in an area where the Raiders will likely look to target wide receivers who provide adequate speed downfield to get behind defenders.
A.J. Terrell (CB)
Daryl Worley's destined to hit free agency this offseason, and may not be back in 2020. As a corresponding move, the Raiders may be in position for a new cornerback via free agency or scoop one up in the draft to play opposite of Trayvon Mullen. Clemson's A.J. Terrell is a borderline day one prospect, who's probably more suited as a second round player, but his evaluation process will be vital in securing his ranking of where he gets drafted.
Terrell hasn't racked up the interceptions numbers such as some of the primer cornerbacks in college football, but opposing teams have shown him immense respect as they often ignore his side of the field. According to Pro Football Focus, Terrell has been targeted just 30 times on 313 coverage snaps.
K'Von Wallace (S)
Last year, the Raiders invested top draft capital to draft safety Jonathan Abram, but his season was cut short due to a shoulder injury, which sidelined him for the season. Other injuries to the Raiders secondary, impacted the safety position as it turned into a revolving door. K'Von Wallace projects as a mid-round pick who's played all over the Clemson secondary — taking snaps at safety, cornerback and nickel.
He's had the majority of his successes at safety, but he can be used all over the field. If the Raiders decide to explore the selection of Wallace through the draft, he would resume play with former college teammate Trayvon Mullen.