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  • A look at the first round “double down” strategy at each position
    by Kenneth Arthur on March 31, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Photo by Larry Placido/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Vegas has picks 12 and 19, would it make sense in any realm to use both of those on the same position? There are not many examples of this. I know because I did some research. I’m not going to claim that I did exhaustive research — I had plenty of energy left by the time I was done searching Pro-Football-Reference for a little while — but I went through plenty of motions to get here. You’ll see the results of some of those motions at the bottom of the article in notes, but here’s the most relevant find to the premise at hand. In the 2000 NFL Draft, the New York Jets held picks 12 and 13 and neither of those picks were their original first rounder. That was pick 18, which they kept and used on quarterback Chad Pennington. Pick 12 originally belonged to the Carolina Panthers, but they lost it to Washington (as well as their 1999 first rounder) because they signed defensive tackle Sean Gilbert. Oh what different times those were. Washington then traded it to the San Francisco 49ers, along with their original first rounder at pick 24, to move up to 3 for offensive tackle Chris Samuels. The Jets then sent pick 16 (acquired from the New England Patriots as compensation for them signing Bill Belichick ... oh what different times those were) and pick 48 to move up to 12. That’s how New York general manager Bill Parcells managed to wind up with pick 12: Lose Belichick to the Patriots — oh what would the Jets do now to undo that deal? — and package that with a second rounder to go up and get defensive end Shaun Ellis. But that’s not all... In one of the most stunning trades in Jets history, Keyshawn Johnson left New York yesterday when he signed an eight-year, $56 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In exchange, the Jets received Tampa Bay’s two top draft picks, giving New York an unprecedented four first-round selections. Parcells also traded his top receiver, the first overall pick four years earlier, to the Bucs in exchange for picks 13 and 27. Tampa Bay only had pick 13 because of an earlier trade in which they sent their 1998 second rounder to the San Diego Chargers for their 2000 first rounder. Put another way, Bill Parcells sent Belichick to New England and Keyshawn to Tampa Bay, helping determine the next four Super Bowl champions. Great Job, Bill. (He left the Jets the following year.) Those are historical sidenotes that I’m having trouble leaving out of the piece because they are so interesting to me but the short story is that the New York Jets ended up using four first round picks in 2000: Ellis at 12, Pennington at 13, and tight end Anthony Becht at 27. With the other pick they received from the Buccaneers, Parcells opted to double-down to fight off what issues he had with a pass rush that featured a team-leading 5.5 sacks by outside linebacker Mo Lewis and a defensive end grouping completely void of talent by selecting John Abraham at 13. Shortest story: In 2000, the Jets picked back-to-back defensive ends in the first round. Ellis played 11 years with New York, making two Pro Bowl rosters and averaging seven sacks per season. Abraham played 6 years with New York, making three Pro Bowl rosters during that time, and one first team All-Pro roster. He averaged 9 sacks per season and then had quite a few more successful campaigns with the Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals. The Jets are far from being the Patriots but the double-down strategy paid off if we’re just looking at individual success of these two players. It was also not foreign to Parcells, who in 1999 used both of the Jets first two picks (they didn’t have a first rounder though) on guards. He also needed some more receivers after trading Keyshawn, so Parcells used his next two picks after the first round on wideouts. One of those receivers was Laveranues Coles, so again it seemed to work well. If you need something, why not double your odds? (This is anecdotal evidence in the smallest of sample sizes! Don’t believe my lies!) The Las Vegas Raiders hold picks 12 and 19 in this year’s draft. In his first year as GM, Mike Mayock held picks 4, 24, and 27, and he held where he was. He didn’t double down on a position, though you could say he doubled down on pass defense. Actually, if you look all the way down to round four, Mayock spent five of his first six picks on pass defense: two pass rushers, two cornerbacks, one safety. Under those guidelines, it would be easy to find many examples of a double-down or triple-down strategy. In terms of looking for two players at the exact same position getting drafted by the same team in the first round, you won’t find many examples other than Ellis and Abraham. And the Jets needed a record four first round picks to do it. Will Mayock double down on a position with 12 and 19? Almost certainly not. But if he did!!!! !!!! !!!! You might rank the positions to do it at as such, from least sensible to most sensible when you weigh these factors: Positional value 2020 Raiders needs 2020 draft class From least sensible to most: Doubling Down on Special Teams If there was a team to do it ... the Raiders drafted punter Ray Guy 23rd overall in 1973 and kicker Sebastian Janikowski 17th overall in 2000. Only three kickers and two punters have ever been drafted in the first round. These are both positions that could be addressed between now and the start of the season but not in the first round. Sebastian Janikowski has issued a statement, through the Raiders, in the wake of the team that made him a first-round draft pick in 2000, deciding not to bring by him back next season.— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) February 21, 2018 Doubling Down on Tight Ends The position itself makes for an interesting argument ever since the Rob Gronkowski-Aaron Hernandez duo revolutionized the Patriots offense. Strangely enough though, most top 10 picks at tight end have been 1980 or earlier. Last year, T.J. Hockenson became the highest drafted tight end (8th overall, Detroit Lions) since Vernon Davis in 2006. However, this class is one of the worst groups of draftable tight ends we’ve seen and Las Vegas has no need after signing Jason Witten to pair with Darren Waller. TE1. Darren Waller2. Jason Witten/Foster Moreau3. Derek Carrier/Nick O'LearyWitten is a stop gap until Moreau comes back fully healthy. This the Raiders strongest position group. I'm thinking if they don't hit on a WR, Waller eventually moves outside permanently.— BD Williams (@BDWilliams18) March 28, 2020 Doubling Down on Interior Offensive Linemen Another draft class, maybe this makes more sense. But this class has very little in the way of projected first round talent at center and guard. The Raiders could draft Cesar Ruiz, Netane Muti, Taylor Biadasz, Shane Lemieux — there’s a lot of names being tossed around but little consensus on how many, if any, of these interior linemen will go in the first round. Generally speaking, not a bad idea perhaps to bulk up inside. For 2020, for a team with Richie Incognito, Rodney Hudson, and Gabe Jackson, it makes even less sense.+ Doubling Down on Offensive Tackles A totally sensible move in some scenarios. However, this draft has four premier tackle prospects and it is possible that all four are gone before Vegas picks at 12. Even if they managed to get the fourth-best one of those players they’d probably be reaching at pick 19. And they’d also have two backups since Kolton Miller and Trent Brown both still exist. Trent Brown and Kolton Miller highlights.#Raiders #RaiderNation— Sanjit T. (@Sanjit__T) September 10, 2019 Doubling Down on Running Backs In most years I might put RBs at lower priority than TEs, but the TE class has no first rounders and there are at least a couple of interesting guys at RB. The Raiders wouldn’t have a place for them over Josh Jacobs, but I could justify it by having insurance at the game’s most fragile position. In this scenario, Vegas takes both D’Andre Swift and perhaps J.K. Dobbins or Jonathan Taylor or Zack Moss, giving Jacobs carries and using lots of 2-RB sets. This would be pretty pointless though and send Twitter into a hellscape from which it will finally never escape. RB Rankings 3.0:1. Jonathan Taylor(Wisconsin)2. D’Andre Swift(UGA)3. JK Dobbins(OSU)4. Cam Akers(FSU)5. Clyde Edwards-Helaire(LSU)6. Zack Moss(Utah)7. Darrynton Evans(App st)8. Antonio Gibson(Memphis)9. Anthony McFarland(Maryland)10. Eno Benjamin(ASU)— NFLDraftRanks (@NFLDraftRanks) March 31, 2020 Doubling Down on Linebackers Grouping all the linebacker positions together, I don’t see a need to go crazy here. The Raiders signed Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski and that’s about maxing out your positional value in a 4-3. If the team did end up adding someone like Kenneth Murray or Patrick Queen in the first round, that makes some sense. Both would be highly unnecessary! No surprise! Doubling down is rare! #Raiders LB’s a week ago:- Marquel Lee#Raiders LB’s now:- Cory Littleton- Nick Kwiatkoski - Marquel Lee- Nicholas Morrow- Kyle Wilber— Raider Cody (@RaiderCody) March 25, 2020 Doubling Down on Safeties The top-ranked safeties in this class are Xavier McKinney and Grant Delpit, by most accounts. I don’t know how well they would play together, or how they’d fit in a secondary with Jonathan Abram, Lamarcus Joyner, Jeff Heath, and Erik Harris. At least with safeties, maybe there’s some positional fungible-ness to work with here. Re-watching 2018 Grant Delpit. Damn I miss that dude. Was SUCH a dog.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 25, 2020 Doubling Down on Defensive Tackles Right now the Raiders have Maurice Hurst, Johnathan Hankins, P.J. Hall, Kendal Vickers, and they signed Maliek Collins. On a scale of 0-10, I would place the need for defensive tackle around a 5, leaning towards a 4. However, if you could convince me that Derrick Brown falls to 12 and Javon Kinlaw falls to 19, and you’re describing a defensive line with Maxx Crosby, Clelin Ferrell, Brown, and Kinlaw, then we wouldn’t be talking about “needs” at all. We’d be talking about a foundation. We tweeted our post-combine mock draft. It features South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw at 12. Someone said, it wasn't a need pick. The Raiders need to generate pressure. If Kinlaw is there, draft him. Period. Folks who pay attention to draft stuff a month before are the worst.— Full Press Raiders (@FPC_Raiders) March 6, 2020 Doubling Down on Quarterbacks Yes, we finally got here and I don’t regret this placement whatsoever. Las Vegas has Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota. They’ve even got DeShone Kizer and Nathan Peterman in case they need a QB3 or a player to step in as QB2 if need be. But hypothetically speaking if a team chose to believe that the most valuable commodity in the NFL was a great QB on a rookie contract, then what’s to stop a team from making multiple attempts at it? Theoretically a team could draft two of these players: Justin Herbert, Tua Tagovailoa, Jordan Love, Jacob Eason, Jake Fromm, Jalen Hurts. Let’s say it’s Love and Hurts just for the hell of it. Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts & Raiders GM Mike Mayock conversate at OU Pro Day— DEE SPORTS GUY (@RodH75727469) March 11, 2020 Then with those two players they could decide that after careful consideration, Love is deserving of a starting position right now, Hurts is a valuable commodity to develop behind him, and Carr is expendable. Then after one season, if Love looks the part, Hurts is traded. If Love doesn’t look the part, maybe Hurts has already taken over, and Love is traded. This is all speculation of course, and it could also be that both quarterbacks are bad. Or the mere presence of another QB prospect pushes both players into their worst timeline because they’re always looking over their shoulder. Or they’re confused as to who is the real QBOTF. Or any other number of scenarios. QB I think the #Raiders should target next yearTua Tagoviola Jalen Hurts Jordan Love Players I hope they avoidJustin Herbert Jake FrommJacob EasonJoe Burrow I'm still on the fence with— I'm here for this (@Rollicking_R8R) September 29, 2019 BUT ... Nobody thinks it’s asinine when a team uses two first round picks to acquire one quarterback and those trades happen all the time. Why should we think it’s asinine to use two first round picks to acquire two quarterbacks? Especially given what I posited earlier, that a great QB on a rookie deal may be the most valuable commodity in the NFL. Using two first round picks on two quarterbacks in the same year would be a highly criticized and ridiculed move at the time of the draft — especially if it was made by a historically-poor team, which a number of franchises are used to being classified as — but if the team came away with one really good QBOTF then what would it matter? This is in no way a move I’m suggesting for the Raiders. I am simply defending the concept. They should not do this. Raiders rumored to be interested in Jordan Love— Win City Silver & Black Pride (@SilverBlakPride) March 30, 2020 Doubling Down on Edge Rushers This could be the best double-down move in general but this first round leaves something to be desired after Chase Young goes in the top three. Mayock could potentially grab K’Lavon Chaisson and then perhaps Yetur Gross-Matos, A.J. Epenesa, or other. This is not necessarily the biggest need because of Ferrell and Crosby’s presence but also if they just went all-in for pass rushers, it is less open to criticism than an overabundance of most other positions. EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU. Potential Raiders draft target in 2020— BD Williams (@BDWilliams18) February 6, 2020 Doubling Down on Cornerbacks If the Raiders could use the first pick on Jeffrey Okudah then corners would be the most likely double-down and the most valuable to Vegas. Or maybe any team. Good corners are harder and harder to find as the league strives to each more passing yards for its quarterbacks and Jon Gruden would easily have a place for two high-profile players to develop there. Even without Okudah, there’s a sensible path here. The team could take C.J. Henderson and Trevon Diggs, throw them into the fray with Trayvon Mullen, Eli Apple, Nevin Lawson and co., see what happens. Successful picks are often so random, this would hopefully help guide the Raiders to at least one really good cornerback on the defense. Mel Kiper selected #12 CJ Henderson#19 Tee Higgins In his latest mock. #RaiderNation— ‘ ’ (@LuridRaider) March 24, 2020 Doubling Down on Wide Receivers It makes the most sense for Vegas and it makes the most sense for this draft. While I don’t think that the Raiders need to find the next Julio Jones or DeAndre Hopkins to be successful, I don’t think it would hurt to bolster the weapons for Carr or whoever the quarterback may be in the season after next. This receiver class has plenty of prospects who can make passing the football very exciting, which is simply not a skills that Tyrell Williams or Zay Jones or Nelson Agholor possess. I don’t even need to name the prospects, you’ve heard about them many times before and will again. 2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0- Burrow or Tua at 1?- K'Lavon Chaisson top 10?- Jeudy and Ruggs on the same NFL team?— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) November 15, 2019 Especially if they’re booking a trip for two to Vegas. Sidenote: In 2003, the Arizona Cardinals drafted WR Bryant Johnson 17th overall and WR Anquan Boldin 54th overall, making a solid case for not avoiding a position just because you had already made one early move. If that wasn’t enough, in 2004 they drafted Larry Fitzgerald. On the other hand, the Detroit Lions drafted Charles Rogers 2nd overall in 2003, Roy Williams 7th overall in 2004, Mike Williams 10th overall in 2005, and Calvin Johnson 2nd overall in 2007. The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Reggie Williams 9th overall in 2004, Matt Jones 21st overall in 2005, both as receivers. In 2019, the Atlanta Falcons drafted two offensive linemen in the first round, Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary. The Tennessee Titans took three offensive linemen in the first round in four years: Chance Warmack, Taylor Lewan, Jack Conklin. In 2010, the San Francisco 49ers drafted tackle Anthony Davis and guard Mike Iupati in the first round. In 2006, the New York Jets selected offensive linemen D’Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangole in the first round, both potential Hall of Famers. The Raiders selected guard Mo Collins 23rd overall in 1998, then guard Matt Stinchcomb 18th overall in 1999. From 2011-2014, the Houston Texans selected J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, and Jadeveon Clowney in the first round. From 2015-2019, the 49ers selected Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas, and Nick Bosa, the latter three in the top 7. NY Jets 2011-2015: Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Sheldon Richardson, Leonard Williams. Washington is potentially going to draft DE Chase Young. They’ve taken a defensive lineman in the last three first rounds: Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Montez Sweat. Give me more examples, my research officially got exhausted

  • NFL free agency rumors tracker: Raiders news, trades, updates, reports, signings, draft talk and more
    by Bill Williamson on March 31, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    Raiders’ helmet | Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Raiders free agency week is here, and we’ve got your one-stop shop to keep track of the team ahead of the 2020 season Here we’re tracking all of the signings and rumors related to the Las Vegas Raiders. We’re also tracking every move the Raiders make in free agency. Keep checking this space for Raiders-related rumors and roster moves so far ... 9:05 a.m.: Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was cut by the Bengals. The Raiders have a need there and he played for Las Vegas defensive coordinator Paul Guenther in Cincinnati. 8:45 a.m.: ESPN reports teams can back out on agreed deals that are not signed. Jerry Mac has the list of the Raiders’ players in that boat. A point multiple teams now have raised: Free agents that don't have signed contracts by the draft - and many don't - could put themselves in jeopardy. If a team drafts a player at a certain position, it always could rescind any agreement it had with a free agent. Different times.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 31, 2020 DT Maliek Collins, G Erik Kush now official transactions, according to That leaves CB Eli Apple, TE Nick O'Leary, DL Daniel Ross . . .— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) March 30, 2020 7:30 a.m.: The Jaguars are still making standout pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue in a trade. He’d be pricey, both in contract and trade compensation terms. The #Jaguars have heard from multiple interested teams about a possible trade for DE Yannick Ngakoue, who turns 25 today. The Jags value him and won’t give him away for little return but it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out as we draw closer to the draft.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 31, 2020 March 30 2:01 p.m.: The Raiders announced the Maliek Collins and Eric Kush deals. 12:25 p.m.: Raiders’ left tackle Kolton Miller was one of 23 players to play every one of his team’s offensive snaps in 2019. Here's a #sticktosports tweet: 23 players played 100 percent of their team's offensive snaps in 2019. 22 of them were offensive lineman. The lone wolf: Russell Wilson— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) March 30, 2020 9:45 a.m.: Yes, the Raiders are running out of salary-cap room after their free-agent frenzy. Number for #Raiders ($15,285) presumably does not include Maliek Collins, Eli Apple, Nick O'Leary, Daniel Ross, Erik Kush. Haven't shown up yet as official transactions . . . assuming Apple-Collins are $6m each, Raiders pretty snug.— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) March 30, 2020 9:10 a.m.: The Raiders are one of the teams talking to Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert prior to the draft. 7:04 a.m.: The Raiders are mentioned as a possible landing spot for receiver Brandin Cooks in a trade. March 29 2:40 p.m.: NFL teams can talk to prospects on the phone leading up to the April 23-25 draft. So, the Raiders can communicate with potential picks. Prior to the 2020 draft, teams can contact an unlimited number of prospects up to three times per week, for up to one hour per conversation— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 29, 2020 12:02 p.m.: The below stat pours water on the narrative that the Chiefs took a big hit this offseason. An amazing stat:If #Chiefs re-sign Bashaud Breeland, they'll have every player under contract for 2020 who played at least 57 percent of their unit's snaps on the title team.To my research, no team has returned every such player since at least the 2001 New England Patriots.— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) March 29, 2020 11:15 a.m.: Another cornerback is off the board. Ronald Darby of the Eagles signed with Washington. The Raiders don’t have much cap room and are likely focused on the draft at that position. 10:20. a.m: New Raider Marcus Mariota is doing great work in his home state of Hawaii. By all accounts, it seems like the Raiders just signed a great dude. March 28 12:02 p.m.: Another receiver is off the free-agent market and stays in the AFC West. The #Chiefs are re-signing WR Demarcus Robinson to a one-year deal, source said.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 28, 2020 March 27 245: p.m.: The Raiders signed, exclusive rights free agent, long snapper Trent Sieg. It was just a formality. Signings that became official today for #Raiders: LB Nick Kwiatkoski, S Jeff Heath, DE Carl Nassib. Also, LS Trent Sieg signed exclusive rights tender . . .— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) March 27, 2020 12:15 p.m.: Here’s a draft connection to Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb. Why is this important? The author of this tweet and is close to Mike Mayock. He knows what Mayock likes. CeeDee Lamb would be a perfect present for Sam Darnold or Derek Carr. Day one #1 WR for both teams.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 27, 2020 March 26 6:28 p.m.: The Raiders signed their 12th free agent Thursday. They inked former Dallas defensive lineman Daniel Ross. He played for new Raiders’ defensive line coach Rod Congratulations to #TeamDEC client @HOTBOYROSS93 on signing with @Raiders #vegasbabyvegas #LFG— DEC Management (@davidcanter) March 27, 2020 Cornerback Darqueze Dennard’s deal is off with the Jaguars. He’s back on the market. He played for Paul Guenther in Cincinnati and the Raiders need a cornerback. So, a reunion could be possible. The Jaguars say that CB Darqueze Dennard, who had intended to sign a three-year deal with them, will not be signing with the team after they were unable to agree to final terms on the deal. He's back to the open market.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 26, 2020 1:40 p.m.: Xavier Rhodes, one of the top cornerbacks still available, is off the board. Don’t expect the Raiders to spend much more on the position. But it may very well be a target position early in the draft. Former Vikings’ All-Pro CB Xavier Rhodes is signing a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts, @ShahSportsGroup tells ESPN. Rhodes will be a free agent again after 2020 season.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 26, 2020 March 25 2:54 p.m.: The Raiders have announced several contracts, including re-signing linebacker Kyle Wilbur. 12:01 p.m.: The Nelson Agholor contract didn’t help the wide receiver free-agent market. These WR deals are starting to come in around the same range (Robby Anderson notwithstanding). Agents weren’t happy to see Nelson Agholor only get a veteran minimum deal. That brought the market to a screeching halt. But for Sharpe, a good opportunity with #Vikings so he jumped.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 25, 2020 11:01 a.m.: Defensive back Jimmie Ward had more money on table from Raiders, but decided to go back the 49ers last week. Report: Jimmie Ward turned down more money from the Raiders to stay with the 49ers. h/t @JFowlerESPN— Niners Nation (@NinersNation) March 25, 2020 March 24 6:30 p.m.: Marcus Mariota says all the right things in this interview. He isn’t rocking Derek Carr’s boat, but, of course, his goal is to play. Mariota is known for being a team guy and I expect him to be that way with the Raiders. ‘It’s been almost ten years since I played at home, this is as close as it gets’, #Hawaii’s Marcus Mariota ‘excited’ to sign with #LasVegas #Raiders @StLouisHawaii #NFLHawaii #9thIsland //— Rob DeMello (@RobDeMelloKHON) March 25, 2020 1:58 p.m.: Bengals linebacker Nick Vigil signed with the Chargers. He was reportedly a Raiders’ target partly because he played for Las Vegas defensive coordinator Paul Guenther in Cincinnati. But the Raiders went for bigger fish at linebacker in the form of Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski. #Chargers and former #Bengals LB Nick Vigil have agreed to terms on a contract, source said.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 24, 2020 1:50 p.m.: Here’s water to pour on those Newton’s rumors. I wouldn’t think the Raiders would male this move, but I never say never. But it would be a surprise. Pretty much should go without saying, but @Raiders are set at QB if you're thinking about Cam Newton.— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) March 24, 2020 12:50 p.m.: The best free-agent receiver, Robby Anderson, has a new home in Carolina. The Raiders were often connected to him. But they weren’t going to give him this type of a deal and I think that was the right call. Anderson is fine, but not a real game changer. Former #Jets WR Robby Anderson has a deal with the #Panthers, as @MMehtaNYDN said. He get a 2-year deal worth $20M with $12M in year 1. A nice landing spot.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 24, 2020 12:15. p.m.: Cam Newton is being connected the Raiders by some folks. But what he’s a quarterback, so what is new? The Raiders are a sneaky destination for Cam Newton. Just saying— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) March 24, 2020 The team that ends up signing Cam Newton will not regret it. The Raiders and Chargers should be all over it. The Bears should have been at the top of this list, but they already Folesed their way out of it— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 24, 2020 9:15 a.m.: Cam Newton is free. Will he end up in the AFC West with the Chargers? March 23 4:15 p.m.: A quarterback who tried out for the Raiders last year has landed in Kansas City after starring in the XFL. Don’t worry, it’s probably not that big of a deal. 2:02 p.m.: Nelson Agholor is not getting paid too much. He’ll be a backup and perhaps a return man. Former #Eagles WR Nelson Agholor signed a one-year veteran salary benefit deal with the #Raiders that included a $137,500 signing bonus, source said. It's worth $1,047,500 of which $887,500 is guaranteed.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 23, 2020 1:55 p.m.: Here are the much-awaited Marcus Mariota contract numbers. #Raiders gave Marcus Mariota a two-year, $17.6 million deal that includes $7.5m in the first year as a fully-guaranteed base salary.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 23, 2020 A fascinating deal that also includes a mountain of incentives and escalators that would pay Marcus Mariota starter money if he plays and has success. Max value: $37.5 million.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 23, 2020 11:20 a.m.: A Jerry Mac cap room update that further drives home the point that the Raiders’ are running out of cap space. Carl Nassib's contract, reported as a three-year, $25 million deal with $17 guaranteed, also not listed along with Mariota, Agholor, Kush, Smith.— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) March 23, 2020 10:42 am.: Jerry Mac has some interesting Raiders’ salary-cap figures. Once the remaining contracts come in and counting the room needed to fit in the draft picks, the Raiders will have very little left to spend in free agency. Getting down to the scraps after 11 new signings and one re-signing. Raiders now $13,566,599 under cap, per, with Marcus Mariota, Nelson Agholor, Rod Smith not factored in. #Raiders— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) March 23, 2020 Cap numbers of #Raiders UFAs:Littleton $11.75Kwiatkoski $7Apple $6Collins $6Witten $4Heath $2.85Awaiting Mariota, Agholor, Kush, SmithNo signing bonuses. Lots of guaranteed salary.— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) March 23, 2020 8:54 a.m.: Jason Witten and Eli Apple will surely be on the 53-man roster this year. Both deals are guaranteed. Apple signed a one-year deal with the Raiders and he’s getting paid pretty nicely. He’ll either be a No. 2 or No. 3 (more likely) corner in Las Vegas. Raiders also fully guaranteed the $6 million base in CB Eli Apple's one-year deal, and gave him $500K in play-time incentives.Reality is that guaranteed $$ = both will be on the roster.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 23, 2020 8:20 a.m.: Former Raiders’ linebacker Tahir Whitehead signed with Carolina. Don’t start thinking about 2021 comp picks, though. Whitehead was released, so he is not part of that formula. But good luck in Carolina, sir. The #Panthers are giving Tahir Whitehead a 1-year deal worth $2.5M with $1.45M guaranteed, source said.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 23, 2020 March 22 10:58 a.m.: Maliek Collins’ contract numbers are in and, surprisingly, it’s just a one-year deal. He will get a chance to impress the Raiders as a starter, though, and be a candidate to get a long-term deal. The #Raiders gave DT Maliek Collins a 1-year deal worth $6M with $5.75M fully guaranteed. A really strong prove-it deal.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 22, 2020 March 21 2:02 p.m.: The Raiders signed their fourth player of the day, tight end Nick O’Leary. Yes, they now have five tight ends. This one is the grand kid of golfing legend Jack Nicklaus. Five, not fore. .@NickOleary35 ➡️ #LasVegas @Raiders! Congrats, Nick. #LegendsLiveHere #RaiderNation— SportsTrust Advisors (@_SportsTrust) March 21, 2020 11:50 a.m.: The Raiders are booming. They signed Dallas backup running back Rod Smith. That’s three offensive players this morning. All are backups. 11 free agents in total. Who says NFL Saturdays are boring? Former Eagles WR Nelson Agholor is signing a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders, per source.Former Cowboys and Giants RB Rod Smith also is re-signing with the Raiders on a one-year deal, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 21, 2020 11:45 a.m.: The Raiders signed a receiver. It’s former Eagles’ first-rounder Nelson Agholor. He’s struggled catching the ball at times. It’s penny-pinching time. Raiders have agreed with both WR Nelson Agholor and G Erik Kush . . .— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) March 21, 2020 10:13 a.m.: Backup guard Eric Kush announced he has signed with the Raiders. He is their ninth free-agent signing. He provides needed interior line depth. #lesssgooooo— Eric Kush (@EricKush64) March 21, 2020 March 20 7:30 p.m.: Emmanuel Sanders won’t be a Raider. He signed with the Saints. 2:47 p.m.: A former Raiders’ defensive back is back in the AFC West Free agent CB Antonio Hamilton is signing with the #Chiefs on a one year deal, per @RosenhausSports — who adds that Hamilton turned down more money from another team to play for the champs.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 20, 2020 11:57 a.m.: Here are the Karl Joseph numbers with the Browns. It’s clear the Raiders didn’t really want him back. Karl Joseph (Browns), one year, $2.5M, $500K signing bonus, salary $1.5M; per game roster bonus up to $500K, up to $1M playtime plus playoffs incentive— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 20, 2020 11:36 a.m.: There’s decent pass-rushers still available. But the Raiders don’t have much money left and like Carl Nassib. Amongst the pass rushing free agents available: ▪️Jadeveon Clowney▪️Everson Griffen▪️Markus Golden▪️Clay Matthews▪️Michael Bennett▪️Cameron Wake▪️Benson Mayowa▪️Ziggy Ansah▪️Terrell Suggs▪️Vinny Curry— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 20, 2020 10:52 a.m.: An interesting pass-rusher is not going back to Minnesota. Everson Griffen is leaving the #Vikings.Statement from Griffen's agent, Brian Murphy: "We have broken off talks with Minnesota because they have to spend their money elsewhere and we decided to now focus our attention on free agency."— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 20, 2020 10:42 a.m.: Melvin Gordon is staying the AFC West. Denver is trying to help Drew Lock with a better running game and better defense. Source: The #Broncos and RB Melvin Gordon have agreed to terms on a 2-year deal worth $16M with $13.5M guaranteed. The former #Chargers star stays in the division, creating a strong 1-2 punch with Phillip Lindsay.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 20, 2020 9:02 a.m.: The Raiders thought about a Tom Brady run, but never made it. Sounds about right. In the end, the market for FA Tom Brady:— The #Bucs and #Chargers with offers.— The #Patriots waiting to see if he wanted to return (he said goodbye instead).— The #Raiders and #49ers briefly considering, but never making an offer.— The #Titans going all in on Ryan Tannehill.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 20, 2020 8:54 a.m.: The Raiders are still going play the free-agent game, but the big-money has already been spent. We’re in full depth mode now, folks. Raiders aren't done adding players, but nothing resembling a big-ticket item on the horizon spent about as much cash as they could, I'm told. As Mike Mayock told reporters combine, defense was the priority. #Raiders— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) March 20, 2020 March 19 4:27 p.m.: Here’s a Robby Anderson update. If the Raiders don’t sign him, it’s no biggie, in my mind. As far as Robby Anderson, the #Raiders liked him but decided to focus on defense in FA. As Mayock said, there are 25 or so WRs in the draft with a top-3 round grade.— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) March 19, 2020 2:18 p.m.: The Rams cut linebacker Clay Matthews. Jon Gruden loves veterans and the Raiders need another linebacker. So, don’t discount a Raiders’ run but I think he’s close to being done. 10:20 p.m.: Cornerback Logan Ryan might present an opportunity the Raiders can consider. Touched base with someone close to #Titans free agent CB Logan Ryan, one of the top players available. The versatile DB is open to entertaining all offers and will consider a short term deal. I’m told he won’t take less than $10M per year he earned last year.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 19, 2020 8:56 a.m.: Another receiver is available in a trade. Should the Raiders think about Brandin Cooks? Rams Have Made WR Brandin Cooks Available For Trade— (@nfltrade_rumors) March 19, 2020 8:37 a.m.: Here’s what the Raiders are planning to do while players are staying away from the facility because of the coronavirus crisis. Interesting comment from new @raiders safety Jeff Heath on @SiriusXMNFL - said the team will be sending iPads to players with video cut-ups with in-person offseason programs currently on hold. I imagine other clubs will be following suit as well— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) March 19, 2020 8:35 a.m.: The Raiders didn’t get cornerback Darius Slay. The Eagles did. The deal after the deal: the Eagles and new CB Darius Slay reached agreement on a 3-year, $50 million extension that includes $30 million guaranteed, @RosenhausSports tells ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2020 March 18 9:08 p.m.: The Raiders, at least, have competition for Slay. ESPN reports the Eagles are working on a contract for Slay as part of a possible trade. I'm told there are ongoing discussions right now regarding the framework of a 3-year extension as part of a trade that would send CB Darius Slay to the #Eagles, per source.— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 19, 2020 8:15 p.m.: Darius Slay trade talk is heating up with Gabe Jackson as possible trade bait. This is the team I’ve heard linked to Slay the loudest and most often. Gabe Jackson as a potential trade chip is an interesting wrinkle.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) March 19, 2020 7:34 p.m.: This report says don’t assume Eli Apple will be a starter. I completely agree. 5:15 p.m.: Karl Joseph is the first Raiders’ free agent to leave. He’s going to Cleveland. Former #Raiders safety Karl Joseph is signing with the #Browns, source said. It’s a 1-year deal.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 19, 2020 2:17 p.m.: Some thoughts from me: To me, Kwiatkowski is key to #Raiders FA. If he hits, they have three solid starters from this class. Not doubting him, but he has a small sample size. But hopes are high.— Bill Williamson (@BWilliamsonNFL) March 18, 2020 2:11 p.m.: More on Harris’ decision: Just talked to Chris Harris. He said 2 yrs "$20 (mill) something," with Chargers. He turned down 3-year offer w/Raiders."I liked the Chargers' defense. Bosa, Ingram, Casey Hayward, Derwin James, Desmond King. I like their secondary. I'll fit right in with those boys." #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 18, 2020 1:59 p.m.: Correcting other reports, this says the Raiders put a second-round tender on linebacker Nic Morrow. Don’t expect hm to leave as an RFA. #Raiders gave LB Nic Morrow 2nd-round RFA tender.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 18, 2020 1:49 p.m.: Here’s some insight on how the Raiders are structuring their contracts: #Raiders have noticeably changed contract structures for most free agency deals in recent years: Going with roster bonuses, fully guaranteed base salaries, injury guarantees that convert to fully guarantees (for some).— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 18, 2020 1:24 p.m.: OK, then. Interesting subplot: Chris Harris turned down an opportunity/offer to play for the Raiders.I’m told that he was not interested in playing for them.— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) March 18, 2020 1:05 p.m.: Chargers continue big day and snag Raiders’ target Chris Harris. Stays in AFC West, but with wrong team. CB Chris Harris tells me he is picking the Chargers.— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 18, 2020 1:00 p.m.: No deals are official yet and here is why: Check out this @TomPelissero thread for more on why we don't expect many official announcements right away.— Scott Bair (@BairNBCS) March 18, 2020 12:43 p.m.: The Raiders had an offer out to Chris Harris, but the Apple deal probably ends that talk. 12:30 p.m.: Eli Apple is the newest Raider. Raiders had a two-year contract offer at one point for former Broncos corner Chris Harris Jr, per sources. Raiders went with in different direction with Eli Apple— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 18, 2020 Newest Raider . . . Eli Apple . . . has agreed to terms. #Raiders.— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) March 18, 2020 11:54 p.m.: Former Raiders’ receiver Seth Roberts is on his way to Carolina. 11:06 p.m.: The Chargers are not going to add a veteran quarterback. That likely means Tua, Hebert or Love in the first round. 9:40 p.m.: Forget the Malcolm Jenkins’ thought. He’s going back to New Orleans. A reunion: The #Saints are close to a deal with safety Malcolm Jenkins — likely bringing back one of their former first-round draft choices and securing their back end. The #Eagles recently parted ways with Jenkins.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2020 8:53 p.m.: In AFC West news, the Broncos traded for Titans’ excellent defensive tackle Jurrell Casey. 8:46 p.m.: Jadeveon Clowney’s market isn’t developing as expected. Could the Raiders swoop in? Probably not after giving Carl Nassib a relatively hefty deal, but I never say never. 8:40 p.m.: Could the Eagles replace Malcolm Jenkins with Karl Joseph? And speaking of Jenkins, perhaps he could be a veteran fit for the Raiders’ secondary. March 17 6:15 p.m.: Carl Nassib gets a big, big deal. Might be a bit of an overpay, but if he can bring the heat, who cares? Carl Nassib goes the #Raiders for 3 years and $25M, source said. He gets a whopping $17M fully guaranteed at signing on a deal that has a max value of $28M.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2020 3:52 p.m.: A free-agency breakdown: #Raiders free-agency scorecard this far: 3 D starters, 2 D backups, 2 two O backups. Stay tuned.— Bill Williamson (@BWilliamsonNFL) March 17, 2020 3:27 p.m.: The seventh new Raider and the fifth new guy today is backup defensive end Carl Nassib. Newest Raider is DE Carl Nassib . . . has come to terms— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) March 17, 2020 3:09 p.m.: Here is another indication Tom Brady is heading to the Bucs. Good, let’s get it over with. I’ve been saying for two days I believe the Chargers are the best fit for Brady - and I still believe that. But I’m told the Brady camp has led the Chargers to believe he is going to stay back East because of family considerations. #StayTuned— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) March 17, 2020 2:55 p.m.: Here is a cornerback, who is a surprise free agent and who could help the Raiders. 2:18 p.m.: The Raiders added another Cowboy, safety Jeff Heath. Safety Jeff Heath is the third Cowboy to move on to the Las Vegas Raiders today, joining Jason Witten and Maliek Collins. According to a source, he agreed to a two-year deal that can be worth as much as $8 million, according to a source. Heath started...— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) March 17, 2020 2:05 p.m.: Jon Gruden is fired up about adding Jason Witten #Raiders HC Jon Gruden told me that signing 16-year #Cowboys TE Jason Witten was “a no-brainer” because of the leadership, work ethic and toughness he brings to a young team. “There’s nothing he still can’t do,” Gruden said.— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) March 17, 2020 1:40 p.m.: Jason Witten is getting a decent salary, too. Jason Witten intends to sign a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders, ending his time with the Dallas Cowboys after 16 seasons. According to a source, Witten can make up to $4.75 million in 2020.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) March 17, 2020 1:11 p.m.: Maliek Collins is a Raider. The defensive tackle played for Rod Marinelli in Dallas. Next up for Raiders . . . Malik Collins. He's in the fold.— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) March 17, 2020 12:59 p.m.: In a stunning move, the are signing tight end Jason Witten. Gruden love veterans. @Raiders have come to terms with TE Jason Witten— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) March 17, 2020 12:56 p.m.: Philip Rivers is a Colt. We never bought the Raiders’ interest in him, anyway. See you, Phil. Breaking: Philip Rivers and the Colts reached an agreement on a 1-year deal, a source tells @AdamSchefter.— ESPN (@espn) March 17, 2020 12:36 p.m.: Here’s a report out of Boston saying Tom Brady to Tampa Bay is done. We’ll see. From my source: the @Buccaneers will announce their deal with @TomBrady tomorrow. The deal is done.— Dale Arnold (@DaleEArnold) March 17, 2020 11:09 a.m.: Here is everything you need to now about free agency rules. 9:30 a.m.: The Raiders agreed to terms with Rams’ linebacker Cory Littleton. Second starting linebacker signed. Expected to play weakside. @Raiders have come to an agreement with Cory Littleton— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) March 17, 2020 9:16 a.m.: The Bears cut former first-round pick, pass-rusher Leonard Floyd. He could be an affordable option for the Raiders. Leonard Floyd being released prevents the Bears from fully guaranteeing the fifth-year option that previously was exercised.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2020 9:13 am.: The Bears have agreed to terms with pass-rusher Robert Quinn to a huge deal. He was connected to the Raiders because of his past with new defensive line coach Rod Marinelli. It won’t happen. And, oh, the pass-rusher market just blew up. The #Bears are signing pass-rusher Robert Quinn to a 5-year, $70 million contract with $30 million fully guaranteed, agent Sean Kiernan from @SelectSports tells me and @TomPelissero. A new home for the former #Cowboys star after a huge year.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2020 8:58 a.m.: Here is an update on the Raiders’ defensive needs. CB is a huge priority, they made a strong push for Jones. So safe to assume they are all over any of the big CB options. Have to see where Littleton's $$ market ends up.— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) March 17, 2020 7:57 a.m.: Cam Newton is going to be traded by Carolina. The Raiders have been rumored to have interest. Panthers and Cam Newton are working together to seek a trade, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2020 7:50 a.m.: The Raiders have given backup tackle David Sharpe a fourth-round tender in restricted free agency. He will likely stick around. 7:48 a.m.: Tom Brady is hitting the open market. Oh boy. The Raiders haven’t been heavily connected with Brady lately, but the talk isn’t dead yet. LOVE YOU PATS NATION— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) March 17, 2020 7:47 a.m.: Quarterback Nate Sudfeld is back with the Eagles. He was rumored to be a target of the Raiders. But the Marcus Mariota agreement probably ended that. BIGGEST QUARTERBACK NEWS OF THE DAY. SUDFELD IS BACK.— Inside the Birds (@InsideBirds) March 17, 2020 7:45 a.m.: The Raiders were in on safety Jimmie Ward before he returned to the 49ers. #Raiders were on Jimmie Ward as well, sources said.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 17, 2020 March 16 7:56 p.m.: The Cowboys had to keep Amari Copper and they did. Amari Cooper intends to re-sign with the Dallas Cowboys on a 5-year, $100 million deal, league sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2020 7:41 p.m.: Stefon Diggs will not be a Raider. And at that price, that’s a good thing. The #Vikings managed the Stefon Diggs situation well last year, despite him no-showing during the week and showing clear frustrating. They hold onto him long enough to send him to the #Bills for a big bounty of picks.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2020 6:40 p.m.: The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Mariota has agreed to terms with the Raiders. This one has made sense for a while. Probably means Derek Carr is staying. The @Raiders have come to terms with Marcus Mariota— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) March 17, 2020 6:15 p.m.: The NFL Network reports the Raiders are working to finalize a deal for Marcus Mariota, who would be the Raiders’ backup who could potentially compete for the No. 1 job. The #Raiders are pushing to close out a deal with QB Marcus Mariota, sources tell me and @RapSheet. Mike Mayock's No. 1-ranked QB in his @nflnetwork coverage leading up to the 2015 Draft could soon be on his roster.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 17, 2020 4:53p.m.: There will be no free-agent visits and the OTA schedule will be delayed because of concerns over the coronavirus crisis. The Raiders were set to start their OTA sessions April 20. It runs through a mid-June minicamp. So, the OTAs will be shortened. In a memo to teams, the NFL has implemented new rules for free agency and postponed the off-season training activities indefinitely, in a memo obtained by ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2020 4:17 p.m.: Here is an update on who the Raiders can turn to at cornerback. Harris is top guy. The #Raiders struck out on Byron Jones, but there's other options including Chris Harris Jr., Prince Amukamara, Logan Ryan, Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller, among others.Vegas desperately needs help outside to bolster what has been a leaky secondary.— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) March 16, 2020 4:06 p.m.: The Dolphins came out of nowhere and agreed to terms with Byron Jones. The Raiders were in it. Now onto Chris Harris? #Dolphins and #Raiders both offered Byron Jones huge money in tax-free states. Sounds like Miami's structure was much better. More up front.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 16, 2020 4:04 p.m.: The Raiders gave linebacker his original round RFA tender. He was not drafted. The Raiders can match a deal, but won’t get any picks if another team signs Morrow. He could see him maybe getting some interest. Raiders LB Nicholas Morrow was given an original-round RFA tender. Raiders will have a right to match any offer he gets. Morrow was undrafted, so there's no pick coming back if another team signs him.— Scott Bair (@BairNBCS) March 16, 2020 3:25 p.m.: The Raiders are reportedly a finalist for Dallas big-dollar cornebrakc Byron Jones. 3:22 p.m.: The Raiders put the fifth-round tender on quarterback Nathan Peterman, who is a restricted free agent. It would be surprising if he gets interest in the RFA market. 3:00 p.m.: An update on Cory Littleton and the Raiders’ approach to free agency. 2:45 p.m.: The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Nick Kwiatkowski will be the middle linebacker for the Raiders, which makes sense. 1:45 p.m.: The Athletic reports the Raiders are not out of the Tom Brady sweepstakes, but Tampa Bay has a better chance of landing him. 1:36 p.m.: The NFL Network has Kwiatkowski’s contract terms. 11:00 a.m.: The NFL Network reported the Raiders have agreed to terms with starting linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski. 10:46 a.m.: The Bears are interested in Raiders’ safety Karl Joseph. 9:35 a.m.: The Raiders are interested in Rams’ linebacker Cory Littleton. 9:19 a.m. ESPN reports the Raiders have interest in Denver cornerbackChris Harris. 9:16 a.m.: ESPN reports the Raiders are interested in Dallas cornerback Byron Jones. 9:04 a.m.: ESPN reports the Raiders are in play for safety Damarious Randall. 8:57 a.m.: Christian Kirskey, who had visited the Raiders, signs with Green Bay

  • The Raiders’ road to a second-round pick
    by Bill Williamson on March 31, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Mike Mayock | Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images Examining ways Las Vegas can recoup a second rounder The great news about the Raiders’ draft cache is that they have five picks in the first 91 picks. That’s tremendous. But there is one hole ... Las Vegas doesn’t own a second-round pick. The No. 43 pick was sent to the Chicago Bears as part of the Khalil Mack trade. If the Raiders want to get back into the second round, they can either make that trade prior with a first-round pick or do it during the second round using their third-round picks as trade bait. If a team wanted to move up from the 20-25 range to No. 12, the Raiders would likely be able to get a second-round pick plus a late-round pick. But it may be easier, and more appealing for Las Vegas, to move the No. 19 pick. Any team picking after No. 25 will likely be asked by the Raiders to give their second-round pick. So, will be worth it to the Raiders to move down from No. 19 and pick 27 and 59? That would likely be a deal completed on the clock where the Raiders would have to weigh what they think would be available later in the first round. If the Raiders want to make a move in the second round, they will likely have to peddle a couple of their third-round picks. Las Vegas owns No. 80, No. 81 and No. 91 in the third round. The Raiders could probably offer No. 80 and No. 91 and get into the bottom 10 picks of the second round. Would having No. 57 and No. 81 on the second day be better than their three third rounders? It just might be. These are all exercises and scenarios the Raiders will be studying and considering during the next few weeks.

  • Raiders mock draft: My current picks at No. 12 and 19
    by Bill Williamson on March 31, 2020 at 4:16 am

    Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock | Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images Offense and defense will be addressed The NFL draft will be here before we know it. We’ve already ramped up our draft coverage and expect extensive coverage in the coming weeks. I will do more mock drafts but, for now, on March 30, I want to present my choices for the Raiders’ two first-round picks. Again, this is subject to change, these are simply my thoughts at the moment. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images CeeDee LambNo. 12, CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma:There is a strong chance the Raiders will have their choice of wide receivers, which is their biggest need. The top receivers – in an extremely strong receiver class – are widely considered to be Lamb, plus Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III of Alabama. It’s difficult to pinpoint which teams will prefer which players but I think Lamb checks all the boxes that Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are looking for. He seems to fit this system perfectly, so, for now, that’s where I think the Raiders are leaning. Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images Grant DelpitNo. 19, Grant Delpit, S, LSU: I feel less sure of this pick, but that’s why it goes this deep in the draft. I just get a feeling Mayock may push for this player. Is cornerback a bigger need than safety? Maybe, but if Delpit is better than the available cornerbacks, he’d be a good fit and a nice pairing with 2019 first-round pick Johnathan Abram. Abram and Delpit could play essentially their entire careers together as the patrolling of the back of the Las Vegas secondary. Plus, Delpit seems like a typical Mayock pick. He’s a good producer from a big-time program. If Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson is available, he’d be the pick, I think he may be gone.

  • How Jeff Okudah could fall to the Raiders
    by Bill Williamson on March 31, 2020 at 12:14 am

    Jeff Okudah | Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images One mock draft has Ohio State star CB available at No. 12 I don’t put much weight into NFL mock drafts, partly because there are so many of them. But there’s no doubt that they’re fun, and sometimes they’re even eye-opening. That was the case Monday during an mock that had Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah falling all the way to No. 12 and the Raiders. If that were to happen, it would be one of the most fortunate first-round scenarios for the Raiders in a long time. Okudah is by far the best cornerback prospect in this draft and he is considered a sure top-five player. He is a true impact player and the Raiders would be beyond fortunate if this actually happens as cornerback is one of the Raiders’ biggest needs and Okaduh has to be near the top of their draft board. Still, this scenario seems unlikely. How did it happen in this mock? There were two trades and an early run on offensive linemen. Four tackles went in the first nine picks. Anything is possible, but this would be a wild scene. And, yes, if Okudah is, indeed, available at No. 12, the Raiders would have to take him and then address receiver at No. 19.


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