It is officially NFL mock draft season, and in this piece, we take a look at some of the first round mocks, and who the Las Vegas Raiders are expected to pick.
With the NFL season officially over, it is time to take a deep look into the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, and what players and positions the Las Vegas Raiders will look to address. General manager Mike Mayock did a terrific job of finding talent during the 2019 NFL Draft, and with two first round picks in 2020, he will look to work his magic once more.
This year, the Raiders could go a number of different directions with these picks, as they could add a wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback, defensive lineman, or even a quarterback. Looking around at the current NFL mocks out there, only one thing is clear, nobody really knows what Mayock and Jon Gruden are going to do.
Coming off a seven-win season, which was a three-win improvement, there is still a lot of work to be done. In addition, the Raiders will be playing their first season in their new $2 billion stadium in Las Vegas, so the win-now expectations cannot be avoided.
Let's take a look at what some other writers and websites across the internet believe the Raiders will do in the first round of the 2020 draft.
Kevin Hanson, Sports Illustrated
Pick 8: Isaiah Simmons, LB,Clemson
(Proposed trade: Oakland sends 12th, 80th and 118th overall picks to Arizona for the 8th overall pick.)
In this mock draft by Kevin Hanson from Sports Illustrated, the Raiders give up a decent amount to move up a few spots to get Isaiah Simmons. Personally, I believe this trade would be worth it. Out of every player in the draft, the Raiders could use Simmons more than any other player, but he likely will not be available at No. 12.
Looking at the Raiders roster, the entire linebacker group could look different in 2020, as only Tahir Whitehead and Marquel Lee are under contract. Simmons fills one of the more glaring needs on this roster, so trading up for him makes a lot of sense if he is Mayock's guy.
Pick 19: Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
With their second pick of the draft, the Raiders add speed that their wide receiver group lacks. Henry Ruggs III is the fastest receiver in all of college football and has received comparisons to Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill.
Jon Gruden would have a lot of fun with Ruggs, as well as Derek Carr, or whoever the Raiders quarterback is next season. Adding a legitimate WR1 to this offense is one of the final pieces of the puzzle on that side of the ball, and in Ruggs, they get a legitimate playmaker.
RJ White, CBS Sports
Pick 12: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Raiders add a new WR1 in CeeDee Lamb in the latest 2020 NFL mock by R.J. White from CBS Sports. Lamb, who is arguably the best receiver in this draft class, has everything you could ask for in a receiver; fast feet, good speed, great hands, and solid route running.
The Raiders would have their WR1 for years to come with Lamb, and adding him would enable Tyrell Williams to move back to the WR2 role, the role he was brought in to play. When you add third-down specialist Hunter Renfrow in the slot, that makes for one heck of a trio atop the Raiders depth chart at wide receiver in 2020.
Pick 19: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
The Raiders double down on offense in the first round, selecting quarterback Jordan Love with their second pick. Love has an explosive, high-risk, high reward type of style, which could catch the eye of head coach Jon Gruden during the draft process.
Gruden is tired of the check-down, boring offense the Raiders have been running, and Jordan Love will immediately change that. Of course, Gruden has also never been one to roll with a rookie quarterback, and with high expectations in 2020, another year of Carr, with Love waiting in the wings could also make sense.
Chad Reuter, NFL.com
Pick 12: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
After allowing Tyrell Williams to receive his guaranteed money, he will likely stay on the Raiders roster in 2020, but that does not mean he will remain the top target at wide receiver. With that being said, the team still needs a WR1, and Jerry Jeudy from Alabama fits that mold in Chad Reuter's latest mock for NFL.com.
This is an extremely deep wide receiver class, but Jeudy may be the best out of all of them. His route running and great hands make him a player who would make an immediate impact in this Las Vegas offense.
Pick 19: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The Raiders badly need a solid linebacker, something that they have lacked for years, and they should be able to get one with the No. 19 overall pick in 2020. Patrick Queen showed his abilities in the national championship game as a player who can tackle and play coverage, and would be an excellent addition to this defense.
Expectations are that the Raiders will make wholesale changes at the linebacker position in 2020, and rightfully so, as the group was painful to watch at times last season. In order to hang with the best of the bunch in the AFC, the Raiders defense needs help on all three levels, and Queen helps them get better at linebacker immediately.
Luke Easterling, Draftwire
Pick 12: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Every one of these mock drafts has the Raiders selecting a wide receiver in the first round, and for good reason, as there is some elite talent out there. In his latest mock draft for Draftwire, Luke Easterling like the Raiders to select Jerry Jeudy at No. 12, the best route-runner in this draft class.
Whether it is Jeudy, Lamb, or Ruggs, the Raiders will be in good hands with a game-changing receiver on the roster. The Raiders offense has a chance to be really special this season, and I would not mind seeing any of these three in the Silver and Black in 2020.
Pick 19: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
As previously stated, the Raiders badly need a solid middle linebacker. Whether that is Simmons, Murray, or Queen, the Raiders will be making a drastic improvement from what they already have in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Raiders have struggled at this position for years and have failed to address it, as they have brought in players as a band-aid to a gunshot wound. If the defense struggles early in 2020, it could spell the end for defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, so you have to believe he is going to be pushing for the team to use some more early draft capital on that side of the ball, especially at linebacker.