The Raiders did not exactly hit with their 2020 draft picks, reaching on multiple occasions. If these players were in the 2021 draft, where would they go?
In 2020, the Las Vegas Raiders had two first-round picks, along with a few third and fourth-round selections, as well. With the 2021 NFL Draft coming up, and the mock draft season being in full swing, let’s take a look at where the Raiders’ 2020 selections would fall if they were in the 2021 draft instead.
Raiders 2020 first-round picks
- Henry Ruggs: Round 1, Pick 12
- 2021: Round 1, Pick 21
Henry Ruggs was looked at as WR3 by most experts in the 2020 NFL draft, behind Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb, but a lot of people knew the Raiders would take him as the top receiver because of his speed. If it weren’t for the Raiders, Ruggs likely would have gone a little later to the Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles, two wide receiver-needy teams as well.
In 2021, receivers such as Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, and DeVonta Smith would be clear favorites over Ruggs, but I could see him being viewed at the WR4 in this class, which could land him in Indianapolis at pick No. 21. The Colts’ top WR for years has been a player of similar size to Ruggs in TY Hilton, and a lot of people believe they could take Rondale Moore with this pick anyway.
- Damon Arnette: Round 1, Pick 19
- 2021: Round 2, Pick 35
Once again, most people, if anyone, did not have Damon Arnette going in the first round last year. The 2020 class was not loaded with talent at the CB position, but the pick was still a reach that I am not sure how many other teams would make.
I have three corners that I would no doubt rank ahead of Arnette in this draft class, Patrick Surtain II, Caleb Farley, and Jaycee Horn. Some others could likely be ahead of him, such as Greg Newsome, Tyson Campbell, and Asante Samuel Jr.
I believe the level of competition that Arnette faced would give him an edge over a couple of these players and would land him somewhere early in the second round instead of a mid-first-round pick in 2020.