The Raiders have filled a lot of roster holes in free agency, but Jon Gruden still needs to make the right pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Credit the Raiders front office for getting a lot of shopping done early in free agency. Bringing in Marcus Mariota to challenge Derek Carr at quarterback should pay huge dividends for the franchise. Inking Corey Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski should solve the team’s issues at linebacker. That should free Las Vegas up to take the best player available with each of their two first round selections.
Remember that the Raiders currently possess both the No. 12 and No. 19 selections in Round 1. That gives Las Vegas a ton of flexibility when it comes to the draft. They could easily choose to package those picks to move up to select a prospect they really covet. It’s perhaps more likely that GM Mike Mayock will trade down to acquire even more draft capital down the road.
5. Derrick Brown
The Raiders have invested a lot of resources in disruptive defensive lineman during Gruden’s tenure, but none of the players they’ve acquired have emerged as dominant pass rushers. That could lead Las Vegas to adding Brown to their mix if he falls to them in the draft.
He’s just the sort of big bodied defender that could draw enough double teams to help increase the effectiveness of their current edge rushers. The current expectation is that he’ll go in the top 10 of the draft, but his mediocre athletic testing at the Combine could cause him to drop like a stone.
If that happens, the Raiders could provide him a nice landing spot at either No. 12 or No. 19. Defensive line isn’t the roster’s biggest weakness, but it’s not a strength either. That’s why Brown will receive attention from Las Vegas in the pre-draft process.