Mike Mayock was heading into his 2nd ever draft with the now Las Vegas Raiders, and will no doubt be looking to replicate his 2019 debut draft which saw us strike gold with offensive rookie of the year candidate; running back Josh Jacobs, along with Maxx Crosby & Foster Moreau both in the 4th, and Hunter Renfrow in the 5th, but to name a few.
This draft will stand out in the annals of history as it was the first, and hopefully last, virtual draft due to the worldwide pandemic. It was pulled off excellently, and gave us a fun and lighthearted look into the homes of our favourite coaches, general managers and players alike.
Now, let’s get down to business. With the 12th overall pick, and first ever pick for the Las Vegas Raiders, they select…
Henry Ruggs IIIWide Receiver – Alabama
Last year we brought our very own slot machine to Vegas with Hunter Renfrow, now this year, we add to that with our newest addition, disappearing act; Henry Ruggs III. A lot of people, Raider Nation included, were incredibly surprised about Ruggs going off the board as #1 receiver, but if you break the numbers down between the top 3 WR prospects, Mayock & Gruden may have totally nailed this selection.
To make the analysis fair, all numbers need to be relative and therefore pro-rata’d (X per Y). You can see that Ruggs, between the top 3 prospects, ranks 2nd in yards per reception, tied-first in touchdowns per reception, and outright first in touchdowns per 100 yards receiving. Marking these 3 stats as 3pts for 1st, 2pts for 2nd, and 1pt for 3rd, the grades come out as follows:
Jerry Jeudy – 5
CeeDeeLamb – 7
Henry Ruggs III – 8
So given that Henry is not only the leader in college performance averages, but compared
to Jeudy & Lamb, he also ranked as follows at the combine:
(only shown where all 3 posted numbers)
- 1st in 40yd dash – 4.27s (Jeudy 4.45s / Lamb 4.50s)
- 1st in vertical jump – 42” (Jeudy 35” / Lamb 34.5”)
- 1st in broad jump – 131” (Lamb 124” / Jeudy 120”)
Not only is Ruggs a great player who would improve any team’s WR corps, but he is also a perfect fit for the silver and black. He is the exact type of player that Al Davis would have been bouncing off the walls to get back in the day, and also the kind of guy Jon Gruden loves to have written in his playbooks. Addressing arguably the team’s biggest need, with
arguably the best wideout in the draft, and him being a perfect fit for the scheme? You can’t ask for much more than that. Gruden & Mayock made it perfectly clear that they were never going to move from the 12th pick and were always going to take Ruggs there,
regardless of whoever was on the board. Could we have traded down a few slots and still got him? Potentially. But why risk possibly losing the best player you’ll acquire all off-season for the sake of an extra pick on day 3? Will it all come to fruition? Only time will tell.
Damon ArnetteCornerback – Ohio State
Probably the biggest surprise of the 1st round saw Damon Arnette, who was mostly considered a late 2nd/early 3rd round talent, go to the Raiders at the 19th pick, 3rd in his position class. It was almost a dead cert’ that the Lions would take Arnette’s former teammate at Ohio State, Jeffery Okudah, at 3rd overall, so let’s take a look at other CBs in this draft class.
Other CBs that went before Arnette were C.J Henderson from Florida Gators to Jacksonville, and A.J Terrell from Clemson to Atlanta. Some think that Mayock’s allure for Clemson would’ve seen us take Terrell at 19 if he dropped, but that was not to be, however there were also CBs who were projected to go earlier who fell not only past the Raiders, but also past Miami who picked Noah Igbinoghene at 30, Minnesota who picked Jeff Gladney at 31 and Jaylon Johnson to Chicago at 50. Some of the shocks were seeing Trevon Diggs of Alabama go at 51 to Dallas, and finally Kristian Fulton of LSU drop to 61 before finally going to Tennessee.
Damon Arnette’s performance at Ohio State was spectacular, and being opposite Okudah, he was the 2nd most targeted CB in this draft class with 170 targets, behind only Jeff Gladney with 232. Along with this high volume of targets, he only allowed a 44.6% completion percentage against him, which isn’t the best in his class, but one of Arnette’s great skills is keeping the play in front of him. He’s incredibly aware of situation and fieldposition; he would rather allow 5 yards on 3rd & 10 and then execute a perfect form tackle, rather than attempt a swat or interception and allow the WR to beat him. Further to this his other stats are outstanding:
- 35 total tackles in 2019 season (tied with Okudah)
- Only allowed 3 TDs in 4 college seasons (no more than 1 per season)
- Lowest passer rating allowed of all CBs in 2020 Draft. (In man-to-man situations)
Would Arnette have gone before the 3rd round had we not traded back? Would the likes of Miami & Minnesota opted for Arnette with the 30th & 31st pick respectively if he was there? Some questions we will not know the answer to, but one question we will know the answer to come September – was Arnette a reach? Mayock & Gruden don’t think so. The rest of the league do. But when have we ever conformed? Roll-on September.
That finishes day 1 of the NFL 2020 Draft for the Las Vegas Raiders. We’ll be going into day 2 with:
Round 3 – Pick 80
Round 3 – Pick 81
Round 3 – Pick 91
No picks in the 2nd round, but plenty in the 3rd. Will we trade up for some 2nd round talent? Will we trade down and try to strike gold with sleepers on day 3? Only time will tell.