The Raiders went Clemson-heavy during the 2019 NFL Draft, so why not roll the dice with a few more Tigers this April in the first round.
The Las Vegas Raiders will hold two first round picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, and after a seven-win season, there are plenty of holes to fill. Of course, they did bounce back from a four-win season the year before, and with the right general manager in place, you have to be excited with all the draft capital they have once again this April.
Looking at the roster, there are positions that assume to be set, like quarterback, running back, offensive line, and even the defensive line. However, wide receiver and linebacker are still an issue, as is cornerback, where the Raiders may have struck gold in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Clemson Tigers corner Trayvon Mullen.
After looking at the potential first rounders in 2020, one thing is for sure, Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden should take another long look at the Clemson Tigers coming out this year. They added three via the 2019 NFL Draft, and taking two more in the first round of 2020 is not out of the question.
In fact, grabbing these two Tigers would make the most sense for Mayock and Gruden with their two first round picks this April.
Pick No. 12: Isaiah Simmons
If there is any player in this draft that the Raiders need to get it is Isaiah Simmons, a versatile linebacker/safety for the Tigers. Simmons is not only an incredible athlete, but he is the lifeblood of the Clemson defense, and get this, he can actually cover.
Covering tight ends and wideouts has been an issue for Raiders linebackers for years now, and adding a guy like Simmons could be the team’s answer to guys like Travis Kelce, Noah Fant, and Hunter Henry inside the division. In addition, he is adept at coming up and getting to the quarterback, making him the most valuable player in this draft class for this roster the way it is currently constructed.
Pick No. 19: Tee Higgins
We all so the physicality Tee Higgins brought to the Clemson Tigers all season long, and it was on full display during the title game. This is a guy who can stretch the field, go up and make big catches, and would be a perfect compliment to guys like Tyrell Williams and former teammate Hunter Renfrow in the passing game.
Derek Carr was able to put up solid statistics last season without a true WR1, so it would make sense that the team would target this position group in round one. In Higgins, they would be getting one of the more NFL-ready wideouts in this draft class, and someone who has the build to be productive early on.
These two players fill immediate needs for the Raiders in 2020, as they look to make it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016 in their first season in Las Vegas. Inside their brand-new stadium, the PSL’s are already sold out, and you can be sure the folks in Sin City will be expecting a winner in Year 1, much like the city’s hockey team did a few years back.
Of course, Simmons had such a huge national title game that he could be off the board before the Raiders pick at No. 12. However, teams need quarterbacks ahead of the Raiders, and we all know that anything can happen on draft night. Let the games begin.