NFL Hot Press: Raiders Keeping Options Open in First Round

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Combine Logo Raiders Keeping Options Open in First Round

Updated March 1, 2020
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

A year ago, the Raiders were the power players of the 2019 NFL Draft, possessing three first-round picks and a high second-round pick to help remake their roster with new general manager Mike Mayock in the second year of head coach Jon Gruden’s second tenure with the team. This year, the Raiders once again will be one of the top teams to watch, as they one of three teams that has multiple first-round picks. After speaking with sources, it sounds like finding a potential No. 1 receiver and defensive help would be the preferred route for Las Vegas to go in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The 2020 NFL Draft is loaded at the wide receiver position, and with the 12th-overall pick, the Raiders could be in position to take the first receiver drafted. Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb and Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy are the consensus top receivers. previously reported that both interviewed with the team this week. Jeudy was a star of the interviews across the league this week, and Lamb drew good reviews as well. The Raiders also met with Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs. Both Lamb and Jeudy are good fits for Gruden’s offense, and the Raiders are high on both of them. Sources with the team said it could be possible the Raiders would take wide receivers with both first-round picks. While they said that is not likely, it is possible as the team won’t reach and will stay true to its board.

Las Vegas also needs to continue to build up the talent on the defense. Linebacker could be a position the organization looks to address in the first round with Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons, Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray or LSU’s Patrick Queen. The Raiders also could consider cornerback and the defensive line even though they addressed those spots early in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Moving up or down the draft board is also in play for Las Vegas. Trading down from one of those first-round picks would be a consideration because the Raiders do not have a second-round pick, which was part of the Khalil Mack trade, but they do have three third-round picks – one from the Bears, their own and one from the Texans. Thus, Las Vegas has the ammo to move up in the first round or jump back into the second round from Round 3.

The Raiders are keeping their options open, but in their ideal world, it sounds like getting a No. 1 receiver and defensive help in the first round is the preference.