With a major need at wide receiver entering the 2020 NFL season, the Las Vegas Raiders can certainly find help in this 2020 NFL Draft class.
The Raiders have a need at the WR position entering the 2020 season. Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow proved to be solid options in the Raiders aerial attack last season but those players primarily win over the middle. Tyrell Williams was brought in to compliment the passing attack outside the numbers but never looked comfortable in contested catch situations and a foot injury hurt his route running and ability to gain separation. The depth after those players is dismal and needs to be addressed.
In a stacked WR class, Gruden has the chance to add a wide receiver who makes the Raiders offense more dynamic. Mike Mayock however has gone on the air recently during combine press conferences and he seems cautious about selecting a WR in round 1.
Here is what Mike Mayock had to say:
"“[I]t’s just how much offense you have to absorb. I’ve met with some of the college wideouts already this year, and what they’re doing, half of them are doing this (turning his head) pre-snap. They look over to the sideline, and they have their own individual coach telling them what route to run. (Raiders coach) Jon Gruden’s head would explode. You better get in there and get in the huddle, and you better learn three positions, not one. What he’s asking you to learn is mind-boggling, so those are the three main reasons why rookie wide receiver production isn’t where it should be in the NFL.”"
Mayock points out how often a first round WR doesn’t produce in the NFL and attributes that to the mental jump in the playbook difference from college to the pro level. Many college WRs play the same spot or even same side their entire collegiate careers.
Jon Gruden’s offense requires receivers to learn every receiver position, all the sight-adjustments and conversion routes, synthesize multiple play calls in one huddle and get ready for the QB to make the decision at the line of scrimmage (and the list goes on).
For this reason, don’t be surprised in a loaded WR group if the Raiders pass on the clear favorites and either trade back in Round 1 or Round 2 where there will still be some very talented pass catchers available.
For your reading pleasure; here is a list of the different categories of WRs in this class outside of the clear cut top players: Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb.