Las Vegas Raiders: 2020 Third round picks making no impact so far
The Las Vegas Raiders made three selections in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft but so far they have made no real impact on the season
The Las Vegas Raiders recently chose to shut down rookie linebacker Tanner Muse for the 2020 season by keeping him on injured reserve for the rest of the year. Muse was struggling with injury since training camp and it was recently reported that he had toe surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
Muse already faced an uphill battle as he was transitioning from safety to linebacker and reportedly struggled considerably during training camp. His transition was not aided by the truncated offseason as all of his learning had to be done virtually over Zoom meetings rather than in OTAs or mini-camps.
With the decision to shut down Muse, it continues an unfortunate trend with the Raiders’ 2020 draft picks in the 2020 draft. RB/WR Lynn Bowden Jr. was supposed to be the joker in Jon Gruden’s offense and play all over the field but that never materialized as he struggled to pick up the offense in camp.
Bowden likely suffered from a lack of a true offseason just like Muse and the team chose to trade him to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for reserve linebacker Raekwon McMillan. The former Kentucky QB has not made any impact for the Dolphins either so he will either be a late bloomer or just turn out to be a bust.
The only rookie third rounder still on the active roster is WR Bryan Edwards who began the season as a starter but has missed the last four games with an ankle sprain. When in the lineup Edwards played the majority of the offense’s snaps but struggled to put up significant statistics, likely due to his injury issues and the complexity of Gruden’s offense.
If Edwards does return this season, and the team marked him as questionable for Week 8 so that is likely, he will probably have to earn his starting spot back from veteran Nelson Agholor who has built quite the connection with Derek Carr. Edwards provides the Raider offense with a big physical target at receiver and that could pay dividends down the stretch, but he has done little so far.
It is way too soon to paint the entire 2020 class as a failure but it is hard not to be disappointed with the returns so far, especially with the three third round selections. If Edwards ends up starting for the Raiders for the next decade and Tanner Muse can develop in to an impact player at linebacker then all of this will be moot. However, Raider Nation is correct in wondering what could have been had the Raiders made different selections or traded up with the glut of picks in the third round.