Las Vegas Raiders: Top-3 position groups to address early in the Draft
By Matt Holder
Ever since you know who was “set free,” the worst kept secret in the NFL is that the Raiders desperately need a wide receiver. Tyrell Williams led the position group in receiving yards and touchdowns with 651 and six, while Hunter Renfrow hauled in the most receptions with 49. Those marks ranked 50th, 31st, and 48th respectively among all wideouts in the league.
While both of those guys are fine players in their own right, neither is a true “number one” receiver. Williams is best as a second option and as a deep threat, and Renfrow is more of a role player in the slot. Regardless of who’s playing quarterback, Las Vegas needs a go-to player on the outside.
Since about January when the Silver and Black were locked into the 12th overall selection, CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy have been tied to the organization. Either of those two would fill the team’s need, however, they may not be available on Thursday.
Rumors are swirling that the Denver Broncos are looking to trade up for Jeudy, and the Philadelphia Eagles are trying to swindle their way into the Lamb sweepstakes. Also, the New York Jets are in the market for a wideout so it could be difficult for Gruden and Mayock to get their hands on one of the top two wide receivers.
Beyond the headliners, there are three names to look out for; Henry Ruggs III, Jalen Reagor, and Denzel Mims.
Ruggs’ 4.27-second 40-yard dash time would certainly put a smile on Al Davis’ face, however, there are some questions about his play strength and route running that raise concerns about his status as a number one option. Reagor is a dynamic route runner and is explosive after the catch, but his frequent concentration drops could be an issue at the next level.
Mims’ profile is similar to Ruggs as he certainly has the speed to win on the outside, but the system he ran college didn’t ask him to run a diverse route tree, making him a bit of a question mark in that department.
If Lamb and Jeudy become top-10 picks, look for Gruden and Mayock to trust the depth of the draft class and use the 19th pick on a wide receiver.