The 2020 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 23. As a lead up to the draft, we’ll be giving a team-by-team breakdown for positional needs. For each team, we’ll give an overview of each team’s current depth chart and how big of a need each position in the upcoming draft. Find all teams and the rest of our draft content in our NFL Draft Hub.
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Las Vegas Raiders 2020 Draft Picks Overview
Round 1 (12)
Round 1 (19)
Round 3 (80)
Round 3 (81)
Round 3 (91)
Round 4 (121)
Round 5 (159)
Las Vegas Raiders Offense
by Rich Hribar
2019 Las Vegas Raiders Offensive Ranks
*denotes new addition
The Raiders went out and signed Marcus Mariota to a two-year contract this offseason to backup and press Derek Carr. Carr is signed through the 2022 season, but only carries a $2.5M dead cap hit after this season if the team chooses to go in another direction. Mariota carries no dead cap hit after this season and a $10.1M 2021 cap hit. The Raiders may not have their complete long term solution at the position, but they are a longshot to take a quarterback in the draft.
The Raiders used the 24th overall pick on Josh Jacobs last year and he rewarded their decision with 1,316 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns in 13 games played while averaging 5.0 yards per touch. The team extended satellite back Jalen Richard through the 2021 season, who led the backfield with 204 routes run, resulting in 36 receptions. Richard has seen his carries drop in each season of his career, all the way down to 39 a year ago.
With Jacobs missing three games as a rookie and Richard an ancillary back used in the passing game, the team should be looking to add a running back compliment to serve as a backup to Jacobs while taking a few touches per week playing behind him.
A year ago, the Raiders wideouts combined for 13.3 targets (30th), 8.8 receptions (28th), and 114.4 yards (29th) per game. That’s with hitting on fifth-round draft pick (149th overall) Hunter Renfrow, who had more receiving yards as a rookie (605) than he did in any of his four seasons at Clemson. The team signed Tyrell Williams (42-651-6) to a four-year contract last offseason, but he’s only on the books for a dead cap in 2020.
The team added Nelson Agholor on a one-year, “prove it” deal while Zay Jones is in the final year of his rookie contract. It’s not a stretch to imagine that none of those previously three named receivers are with the team beyond this season. The Raiders very well could double-dip the wide receiver position in the draft with significant capital, taking a wide receiver in the first round while adding another perimeter option with one of their other top-100 selections.
Darren Waller broke out in a big in 2019, leading the team in targets (117), receptions (80), and receiving yards (1,145). The Raiders rewarded him with a new four-year in season that runs through the 2023 season, although there is no dead cap hit in any season beyond 2020. Last year’s fourth-round pick (137th overall) Foster Moreau chipped in as a red zone target with five touchdowns while the team went out and added 37-year-old Jason Witten for…. well… I’m not sure. But the Raiders tight end room is set entering 2020 and not a priority for this upcoming draft.
LT: Kolton Miller/Brandon Parker
LG: Richie Incognito/Erik Magnuson/Lester Cotton
C: Rodney Hudson/Andre James/Jordan Devey
RG: Gabe Jackson/Eric Kush*
RT: Trent Brown/David Sharpe/Denzelle Good
The Raiders offensive line was among the league’s best a year ago, ranking sixth in our pass pro metrics, fifth in pass block win rate per ESPN, and sixth in adjusted sack rate (5.9%). In the run game, they ranked in sixth in adjusted line yards created (4.63) per Football Outsiders. Even better, all five of their starters are under contract through the 2021 season. The team could still pursue depth with Richie Incognito turning 37 years old this July, but no offensive line position is an absolute immediate need.
Las Vegas Raiders Defense
by Dan Pizzuta
2019 Las Vegas Raiders Defensive Ranks
interior defensive line
After falling to the fifth-round because of a heart condition discovered at the NFL Combine, Maurice Hurst has turned into the disruptor he was projected to be coming out of Michigan. Last season, Hurst ranked sixth in pressure rate among 97 defensive tackles with at least 100 pass rushes per SIS. Free agent signing Maliek Collins ranked fourth among defensive tackles in ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate last season. With Hurst and Collins, the Raiders have a disruptive duo with decent depth behind them.
The Raiders spent a first- and fourth-round pick on the edge last season and got production that matched, just with the players and picks swapped. Maxx Crosby might not be a consistent 10-plus sack player but he showed he can be a plus contributor as a pass rusher. Clelin Ferrell, the fourth overall pick, did not show that. Carl Nassib, signed to a three-year deal in the offseason, had an impressive 2018 but was less effective as the No. 3 in Tampa Bay last season.
Vegas completely reshaped its linebacking corps through free agency with the signings of Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatowski. Both excel in coverage, which is something the Raiders have sorely lacked in the middle of the defense — they ranked 25th in DVOA vs tight ends last season. Even backups like Te’Von Coney have showed good coverage skills, so the Raiders finally look set with a modern look at the position.
This is where defensive quality falls off a cliff on this roster. Lamarcus Joyner has been a slot/safety but the Raiders appear to want to keep him in the slot for 2019. Nevin Lawson might be the team’s top outside corner and he played just 187 coverage snaps last season. Both Lawson and Mullen were below average in Adjusted Yards allowed per coverage snap in 2019. Daryl Worley and Gareon Conley are gone and while the quality won’t be missed, the depth might be. Ken Crawley is the one notable addition and he was cut by the Saints and struggled with the Dolphins last season. The Raiders tried to add Eli Apple but could not come to an actual deal after an agreement was reported.
Jonathan Abram is a wild player and while it can be a positive, it led to a season-ending injury in Week 1. Damarious Randall bounced around the defense with a few bad coordinators in Cleveland, but will likely return to a more traditional safety role. Erik Harris filled in well after Abram was lost for the season last year and could provide good depth in three-safety looks.