Still needing to fill some holes, we take a swing at playing G.M. for the Las Vegas Raiders in our latest mock draft.
The combine is only a few weeks away, which means the draft season is about the be in full swing. And with that, be prepared for numerous amounts of mock drafts for the Las Vegas Raiders as they look to build off a great 2019 class.
The Raiders have another two first-round picks this season and four picks from #80-#111, which could provide a ton of flexibility to move up and down the draft board. Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are surely evaluating every scenario possible, and it will be exciting to see what they finally settle on in April.
For a change of pace, we will be doing something a little different with this particular mock, I will be running a draft simulation with the Draft Network's NFL mock draft simulator. So we may have to make some tough decisions, or perhaps we get a few lucky bounces, and some unexpected prospects fall.
They currently have the Raiders' most significant needs as W.R., L.B., and C.B., which is pretty accurate, so we'll see how well we can fill those spots or if the board leads us another direction.
Here is the latest Las Vegas Raiders mock draft.
#12: CeeDee Lamb - W.R., Oklahoma
We all know the Raiders need at wide receiver, and luckily for them, a great one was available in the simulation.
CeeDee Lamb took his game to a different level in 2019 and was arguably the best receiver in college football. Lamb has all the skills you want from a number one pass catcher with the ability to win at all three levels with smooth route running, tremendous ball skills, and elite run after the catch ability.
The one thing that may be a bit of concern for Oakland is Lamb's overall speed, which is definitely not his best trait. Speed was a glaring issue for the Raiders last season as defenses did not respect their deep passing game, and Lamb isn't necessarily going to stretch the secondary. However, the Raiders would be overthinking if they passed up on Lamb for such reasons.
He can still win down the field with his body control and ball skills, so even if he's not blazing by people like Henry Ruggs III, he is still a threat downfield. Then combine that with everything else he provides, he is the type of alpha receiver the Raiders need.
#19: Patrick Queen - L.B., LSU
The issues at linebacker are similar to the issues at wide receiver for the Raiders, so it would be ideal to get premiere talent to fill those spots. The only problem is the Raiders don't have a pick after this until #80. And with a weaker overall linebacker class, I had to decide whether to reach a bit on a high potential prospect or hope a capable player is available later, and I chose the former.
Patrick Queen isn't a name that was consistently mentioned in the first round during the college season, but a strong finish to the year has people aware.
Unlike Lamb, you don't have to worry about speed when it comes to Queen, as that is the evident strength of his game. He is a sideline to sideline player with great physicality and excellent instincts.
And if drafted, he would immediately become the best coverage linebacker on the team.
Queen could play Mike or Will depending on what the Raiders need, but regardless of which position he plays, the Raiders would be getting a dynamic three-down player.
#80: Denzel Mims - WR, Baylor
Anyone that watched the senior bowl practices saw Denzel Mims put on an absolute show. An explosive athlete at 6'3, Mims could be a great complement if the Raiders got Lamb in the first round. Mims not only proved to be a supreme athlete but also displayed a nice route tree.
That ability to run a variety of routes is what was pulling Mims down in the draft when you'd read earlier profiles, so him improving did a ton for his stock. For Las Vegas, they need to address wide receiver more than once in the draft if they don't find some answers in free agency.
Mims is also someone who has excellent body control with a massive catch radius, so the Raiders would be adding yet another player they can trust to make tough catches.
It was surprising to see him fall this far in the simulation, but with so much receiver depth in this draft class, it not impossible to see him available at pick 80.
#81: Bradlee Anae - D.E., Utah
The Raiders certainly improved on the defensive line in terms of pressures and sacks with the emergence of guys like Maxx Crosby, but they need to continue adding depth. Bradlee Anae is a high motor pass rusher that wins with great hands and a plethora of pass-rushing moves.
If you saw him during the senior bowl game, you would have thought he was the next Nick Bosa the way he was destroying tackles, but there is a reason Anae is a later day 2 player instead of the top-50 consensuses.
Anae is not the most explosive or flexible athlete, and his lack of length is going to be an issue at times in the NFL. However, with his high I.Q. and technique, he could be a solid starter if needed and an excellent rotation player early on.
#91: Jeremy Chinn - SAF, Southern Illinois
The Raiders still need someone who can matchup up with tight ends and provides versatility within the defense, and if Isaiah Simmons isn't available at pick 12, they could look at some like Jeremy Chinn later in the draft.
He obviously is not the prospect Simmons is, but at 6'3 and 220lbs, Chinn has the frame and athleticism to be a matchup piece for Paul Guenther.
During his time at Southern Illinois, Chinn literally played all over the field and showed a willingness to be physical while also displaying capable coverage ability. If developed, Chinn could be the solution to the Raiders miserable play against tight ends over the years.
The jump in the competition is always going to be a concern, but Chinn was also at the senior bowl (yes, I like a lot of players from the senior bowl) and proved that wasn't an issue so far. The Raiders could be getting something special if they can grab Chinn.
#111: Jonah Jackson - O.G., Ohio State
The Raiders could look to provide more depth on the offensive line, and a guy like Jonah Jackson would fit at either guard spot. After transfer from Rutgers to Ohio State, Jackson has a great senior year, which saw J.K Dobbins run wild, and Justin Fields be one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the country.
He is a big guy (6'4, 310lbs) with pretty decent movement skills, so with time, who knows if he can develop into a possible replacement if the Raiders move on from Gabe Jackson or when Ritchie Incognito eventually retires. Though even if that ends up not being the case, he is another big body Tom Cable can work with.
#141: Justin Strnad - LB, Wake Forest
The Raiders were decimated at linebacker by injury and the suspension of Vontez Burfict, but truthfully they were going to be bad even if they were all healthy. With that being said, Las Vegas needs a revamp of the linebacker room in terms of day one starters and depth. We already have the Raiders taking Patrick Queen in the first, and Justin Strnad could provide the depth. Strnad has some real potential in coverage with great range and explosiveness, but his instincts still need work.
He is coming off a torn bicep, but it would still be a bit shocking to see him available this far down in the draft given his skill set. But in this simulation, the Raiders get lucky.