Three possible draftees if the Las Vegas Raiders trade up in the 2022 NFL draft.
George Pickens, WR, Georgia
I know, I know; I just got done talking about the Raiders trading for one of, if not the best receiver in the NFL, just to suggest Las Vegas might trade up for a wideout. Hear me out.
The Davante Adams trade was not something that happened overnight – This was in progress days before it became official. In this timespan, the Raiders negotiated with DJ Chark, followed by Allen Robinson, ultimately striking out with both. There was also interest in Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who eventually signed with another AFC West team, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Although they could’ve kept bidding, Las Vegas was beaten on both Chark and Robinson, without either price getting too far up there. This tells me the Raiders wanted a reliable wideout to pair with Adams, who Las Vegas knew they were acquiring, but refused to shell out wideout no.1 money as they wouldn’t be the no.1 receiver.
On top of this, once the Silver and Black officially acquired Adams, it was reported they were dipping their feet in the Odell Beckham sweepstakes. Whether they’re still keeping tabs on Beckham or not remains unknown, but even after signing Demarcus Robinson, it’s hard to say the Raiders have a true no.2 on the outside.
That’s where Pickens comes in.
Georgia’s George Pickens is an extremely polished receiver with a very well-balanced skill set. At 6’3, he’s got the height, and with his ball skills, he’s got playmaker ability. Add in his footwork, separation skills, and hands, and you get a player that forces defenses to worry about them – Which only adds to the threats of Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow, and of course, Davante Adams.
Pickens not only offers a lot as a pass catcher, but he brings speed to a starting offense that doesn’t see too much of it. With a 4.47 40-time, Pickens helps open up the field and make everything happen that much easier.
The one true downside to the Bulldog is his unfortunate injury history. Pickens has a history of missing time, and it’s caused him to continuously slide downward. The positive here is Las Vegas has so many weapons that there’s no need to force-feed him, thus making his chances of injury plummet. This is a first-round talent, and if he can stay healthy, he’ll make a team very happy.