The Las Vegas Raiders did not get much from the 2020 NFL Draft class as rookies, and every member of that class is under the microscope in 2021.
During the 2020 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders had some specific needs to address, and they did so in the first round. Holding two first-round picks, the Raiders brought in a wide receiver at No. 12 in Henry Ruggs III, before landing a cornerback later in round one in Damon Arnette.
When it came to the Ruggs pick, he was definitely the player the team wanted, as every available wide receiver was still on the board when the Raiders made their selection. In Arnette, the Raiders got a player who many considered a ‘reach’ of a pick and based on his rookie season, that could end up being true.
While Ruggs and Arnette were the headliners, going in the first round, the Raiders also had back-to-back picks in the third and had three total in that round. Las Vegas rounded out their 2020 draft with two fourth-round picks, taking John Simpson and Amik Robertson, and as a while, the team got very little from the entire seven-man group.
Raiders must get more from the 2020 class
In 2021, that has to change, as the team will be looking to get to the playoffs for the first time since 2016, and needs all hands on deck to do so. We saw flashes of Ruggs as a rookie, playing well in Kansas City, and catching the game-winner against the New York Jets, but he needs to double his production in Year 2.
Also, Arnette must prove he is part of the answer at cornerback, as does Robertson, as there is a lot of young talent around them heading into next season. Also, new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is a genius when it comes to the secondary, making this a huge second year for both Arnette and Robertson.
Brian Edwards was also taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he has some big expectations on him this season. Joining Edwards in the third round was Tanner Muse, who missed his entire rookie season, and with more talent added to the linebacker group, he is another guy who will have to prove he belongs.
The Las Vegas Raiders made big changes with their roster on both sides, so are they poised for a legitimate playoff run in 2021?
John Simpson will likely be a depth guy along the offensive line in Year 2, but some believe he could challenge Denzelle Good for the starting right guard spot. Overall, every 2020 draft pick that is still on the roster will be under the microscope all summer long, and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.