The Las Vegas Raiders put together a solid 2020 NFL Draft class, and the improvements on both sides of the ball impressed SI.
The Las Vegas Raiders had a pretty successful 2020 NFL Draft, bringing in talent on both sides of the ball, and addressing most of their needs coming in. Coming off a stellar 2019 draft, the Raiders are building the roster the right way, and the media is starting to realize that Mike Mayock knows what he is doing.
Rob Rang from Sports Illustrated has been grading each draft class over the past week, and on May 16, he took a look at the Raiders new additions. Holding two first round picks, the Raiders addressed two big needs on their roster, adding a speedy wide receiver in Henry Ruggs III, and then a fiesty cornerback in Damon Arnette.
Overall, SI gave the Raiders 2020 NFL Draft class a B+, which is a much higher grade than the franchise is used to getting. Last year, media was down on the Raiders haul, which just happened to produce a crop of cornerstone players for the franchise, including Josh Jacobs, Maxx Crosby, and Trayvon Mullen to name a few.
Rang listed not only the class, but gave out honors, including the best player in Ruggs, the best value in Amik Robertson, and the best project in Lynn Bowden Jr. Overall, it was a fair assessment of the class, and if Arnette proves to be as good as teammate Jeffrey Okudah, this could be a special one.
Mike Mayock's Magic
Last year, the Raiders held three first round picks, and general manager Mike Mayock was able to get some elite talent, especially in Jacobs, who nearly won the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year award. However, it was Mayock's work after round one that was really impressive, as he landed guys who produced at a much higher value than their draft slot.
Crosby had better numbers than Nick Bosa, San Francisco's No. 2 overall pick that won the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Picked in the fourth round, Crosby is going to be a guy who puts together double-digit sacks for years to come, and the gold did not stop there.
Trayvon Mullen proved to be a CB1, and he was a second round pick, and Hunter Renfrow, picked in the fifth round, closed out his rookie season with back-to-back 100-yard games. Overall, Mayock had as solid a 2019 class as any GM out there, and these guys are the reasons why there is so much hype surrounding the future of the Raiders.
The bottom line is, we won't know the impact of this rookie class until the Raiders get on the field, and they have a much easier-to-navigate schedule in 2020. Sure, the first round guys get a lot of pub, but I am very excited about guys like Robertson, Bowden, and Tanner Muse, talented guys who love to play football.