Las Vegas Raiders set at wide receiver position for the long haul
By Brad Weiss
With the additions of Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards via the 2020 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders are set at wide receiver for the long haul.
During the 2019 NFL season, the then-Oakland Raiders struggled mightily at the wide receiver position, as guys went down due to injury, and they had a revolving door at the position group. This offseason, general manager Mike Mayock made it a point to get better, bringing in Nelson Agholor as a free agent, and drafting Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Overall, there is more depth at the position group than there has been in a while, and for quarterback Derek Carr, that could mean a monster 2020 campaign. Looking at the age, and talent at wideout heading into the new season, there is reason to believe they are set up for the long haul.
Key additions in Ruggs and Edwards
The Raiders made Ruggs the first wide receiver taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, selecting the speedster out of Alabama with the No. 12 overall pick. While known for his speed, Ruggs can do it all from his wideout spot, and will move right into the WR1 role, moving Tyrell Williams to WR2, where he is an elite option.
In the third round, Las Vegas rolled the dice on the wideout group once again, bringing in the versatile Edwards from South Carolina. This is a guy who can flat out go up and get it, and he left school as the all-time leading receiver in Gamecocks history.
When you combine these two guys with Hunter Renfrow, as well as Williams, Agholor, and Zay Jones, the Raiders are very young, and very explosive at wide receiver moving forward.
Renfrow in the slot
One of the bright spots for the Raiders at wide receiver last season was Clemson rookie Hunter Renfrow, who the team took in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. While Renfrow battled a serious injury towards the middle of the season, he came back strong at the end, finishing his rookie campaign with back-to-back 100-yard games.
Outside of the production, Renfrow proved that he could be a reliable option for Carr, making tough plays from the slot. He is the kind of kid that catches everything that comes his way, and now that there are some explosive playmakers on the outside, he should be able to do even more damage across the middle.
This offseason, Mayock and company turned this position group from one of need, to one of strength, making this Raiders offense extremely dangerous. If Carr can take more shots downfield, and the rookies step into their role in a big way, this offense has the talent to make plays against any defense in football.