The Las Vegas Raiders are one of several teams in the 2020 NFL draft with two first-round picks (No.s 12 and 19 overall). They’re in prime position to upgrade an already ascending roster with two immediate starters.
The Raiders’ top needs are clear. A playmaking wide receiver, cover cornerback and help along the offensive and defensive lines rank at or near the top. There’s little doubt they’ll be in position to upgrade at least two of those spots with their pair of first-rounders.
There’s another option available to GM Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden, however. They could choose to trade down and pick up more picks.
According to NBC Sports’ Scott Blair, a trade out of No. 19 overall is a very real possibility.
“I think the Raiders take one of the big three WRs at No. 12,” Blair wrote. “I think they take Henry Ruggs, with CeeDee Lamb already off the board and Gruden looking for his Tyreek Hill. Then I think they trade down from No. 19, maybe really late in the first round while hunting for a pick in the second. Then they use the late first-rounder on the best cornerback available.”
That would be a home run for the Raiders, especially if they’re able to keep a late-first-rounder in their arsenal while adding a second-round pick in this year’s extremely deep class.
Ruggs would make a ton of sense for Las Vegas. The Raiders’ passing offense is missing the kind of field-flipping weapon needed to complement WR Tyrell Williams and TE Darren Waller. A player like Ruggs will force opposing defenses to respect the deep game, which in turn will open more running lanes for second-year running back, Josh Jacobs.
The Raiders had been considered a potential landing spot for one of the top quarterback prospects, but the signing of Marcus Mariota in free agency all but ended that speculation.