Nick Popio | February 28th, 2020
The Oakland Raiders are history and now it’s time on to the new era of the Las Vegas Raiders. On Wednesday, March 18, the silver and black will officially be open for business as they take their first step towards a make or break season. When the toe meets ball in September, a lot will be expected of Jon Gruden’s latest team to work its way to the playoffs. They came closer than many predicted in 2019, so securing the proper free agents and acing the draft again can put this organization on the fast lane to Super Bowl contenders in 2020.
Many things will change between the present time and late April, so take this mock draft with a grain of salt. This is a compilation of research at what the Raider brass may be studying as of today. With free agency and trades bound to shake up the entire landscape of the league, the upcoming few weeks are going to be can’t miss for the newly minted Las Vegas Raiders.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL team mock drafts here.
Round 1, Pick 12: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
With CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy off the in this scenario, the Raiders go with the fastest player in the draft. He’s a touchdown waiting to happen on any given snap. Ruggs is clearly not the tallest, but he makes the most out of things with the ball in his hands. With Jeudy and fellow wideout Devonta Smith as the more primary targets in Alabama’s passing attack, Ruggs was able to find the endzone 24 times in his career from just about any position he appeared at on the field.
Henry Ruggs only has 98 career catches.— PFF College (@PFF_College) February 22, 2020
24 of those have resulted in TDs.pic.twitter.com/LDwrTS0VB5
Round 1, Pick 19: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Murray is an outright tackling machine. He plays hard on film, which is what every decision maker is looking to add to their rosters. He would bring an immediate upgrade of speed at the linebacker spot. 28 total tackles in a 2018 win over Army shows that Murray can cover the whole field with his awareness. A productive three-year performer, who can cover backs in the passing game but can get swallowed up by bigger blockers at times.
#Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray (6-foot-2, 235) —— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) February 26, 2020
The pursuit speed jumps on film. Range to the ball from the 2nd level + some edge rush ability. Three-down traits. Would expect a 40 time at 4.4/4.5 here in Indy. @NFLMatchup pic.twitter.com/LZ7JBaT06f
Round 3, Pick 80: Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
Dantzler stands at 6’2” and for his career, he gave up 36 grabs on 568 snaps according to hailstate.com. He possesses a skinny frame, so he’ll have to bulk up a bit for NFL competition. He needs to clean up his tackling skills but held his own against Biletnikoff award winner Ja’Marr Chase. Also of note, Dantzler didn’t allow a single touchdown as a redshirt sophomore.
A lot of people are going to question Cameron Dantzler's frame, and rightfully so.— 𝙅.𝙍. (@JRDrafts) February 26, 2020
But man does he play bigger/stronger then you'd expect. pic.twitter.com/lqQpTGMbOk
Round 3, Pick 81: Larrell Murchison, DL, N.C. State
The factory of products to come out of N.C. State goes on with Murchison. He’s produced 11 sacks over the last two seasons because of his motor and burst off the line of scrimmage. He resembles current Raider P.J. Hall, who will be watched closely to amp up his game by new defensive line coach, Rod Marinelli. Murchison gets double-teamed during spurts throughout the game, but he fights to make any kind of an impact on those plays as well as his abilities allow him to.
Round 3, Pick 91: Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
Akers is a speedy athlete who broke Florida State’s freshman rushing record. He’s a capable and willing pass protector who must show some improvement when catching the ball out of the backfield. Josh Jacobs is no doubt going to be a star but could use a breather every once in a while and Akers is a prime compliment for that.
Round 4, Pick 118: John Simpson, OG, Clemson
Simpson is a first-team all ACC and consensus All-American based off of multiple sites. His mammoth size is built for the pro level immediately. With Richie Incognito aging and Gabe Jackson a potential cut, Simpson can step in from day one if needed. Clemson has a wealth of experience against college football’s top programs which should only help Simpson projecting to the next point in his life.
John Simpson channeling his inner Quenton Nelson pic.twitter.com/e2LEXuTJEy— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) February 20, 2020
Round 5, Pick 159: Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming
The Raiders know they desperately need to improve their linebacking unit and Wilson is one of the better coverage linebackers in the draft. He was a four year stand out on the Cowboys defense. He’s still a little raw for the pros, but over time may develop into a starting caliber linebacker. Wilson would be an ideal fit to begin his NFL career on special teams while learning and working his way up the team’s system.
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