2020 Draft: Mid-March, 4-Round Mock Draft

Wasn’t quite sure how to title this one. Are we too far removed from the Combine to make a “post-Combine” mock draft? Are we sure free agency goes forward as planned in order to call this a “free agency week” mock draft, or something along those lines? Decisions, decisions.

EDIT: We’re now told that free agency will, in fact, move forward as planned.

Anyway, we arrived at some sort of decent title and I put together four-rounds of fun for all my pals. I only focused on the first four rounds because, quite frankly, anything outside of the top-100 selections is a total long-shot and we really don’t need to focus a ton of energy discussing and debating those picks.

Last notes: This is more-or-less a “what I would do” mock draft, but mixed with some pretty straightforward selections that I think the consensus would agree on (ex. they’ve been heavily mocked or rumored choices) or they are players that I believe “make sense” to a certain degree. I’ll also provide some other options where applicable, in order to hedge as best I can and ideally sidestep any “how could you forget or pass on [player x]” commentary in my mentions.

Oh, also, no trades in this one because that’s way too hard to map out.

My haul:

All four rounds courtesy of The Draft Network

Round 1, 12 Overall: WR Henry Ruggs, III (Alabama)

Knowing, hearing, and imaging what Jon Gruden had planned for Antonio Brown in this Raiders’ offense, it’s easy to see why both he and Mike Mayock would fall in love with Henry Ruggs III at 12 overall (assuming he’s available, of course). That’s not to say that Ruggs is a Brown-level player, but his ability to beat coverage deep, and burn defenders with this 4.27-speed, is going to be hard to pass on.

Jordan Reid on Twitter

Henry Ruggs III is a Ferrari that operated in a Honda car lot weekly. He moves at a different tempo than his surroundings and makes everyone else look as if they’re moving in slow motion. https://t.co/PiuzTCe3J1

The other options here are pretty obvious. It’ll likely be between one of three wideouts: Ruggs, or Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb. Each play and win and different ways, so it’s all about whatever “flavor” the brain trust want to lean on. Other than a wideout, we could see a defender along the line in Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw, neither of which really did much to boost their stock in Indianapolis.

“Wildcard” pick here would obviously be a trade-up (for someone like Isaiah Simmons) or trade-down (for any number of players, but in true Gruden fashion, perhaps a quarterback like Jordan Love — yikes). Or, staying at 12 overall, the team may not be confident in a player they fell in love with, say linebacker Kenneth Murray, making it to 19. With so many needs, the team is truly in a great spot, all my normal pessimism aside (for now).

Round 1, 19 Overall: LB Patrick Queen (Louisiana State)

Okay, I floated the idea of a linebacker at 12 overall, but I’d much prefer Murray here. If it were up to me, however, Patrick Queen is still my choice. 6-0, 229 with 4.5 wheels, Queen’s “the modern day linebacker”, and the type of player at the position that this roster has been missing for what feels like forever.

Few other options, reaches or otherwise: Cornerback should be high on the “needs list”, although I expect money to be thrown around in free agency. Regardless, C.J Henderson is a player that checked all the athleticism boxes (6-1, 204, with 4.39 speed), and could have risen up boards as a result. A.J. Terrell and Trevon Diggs could be players that Mayock pounds the table for, given the alma maters (not ones that I’d be particularly thrilled about at this point).

If the Raiders opt to pass on receiver at 12, there are several options I’d be aware of here (in no order): Justin Jefferson, Denzel Mims, Jalen Reagor, and Tee Higgins (Higgins, especially, given the Clemson helmet).

One other name to throw out there: Does safety Xavier McKinney “slip” to this range? Pairing him with last year’s (recovering) Day 1 pick in Jonathan Abram could make a lot of sense.

Round 3, 80 Overall: QB Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma)

Here is where the mentions get sloppy, I assume. Although, maybe not. I think pulling a quarterback in this range doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s curtain for Derek Carr, but the pressure is definitely on — and that’s a good thing. We want talented players that can push one another; we want depth and competition.

Now, truthfully, I don’t think Jalen Hurts is lasting outside of the top-50 at this point. Not after a strong Combine; we knew all along he was going to be an excellent interview (he has hashtag all the intangibles) and naturally, his positional impact will drive him up the board. But, if he’s there, the Raiders were rumored to be interested in him early on in the process. He’s potent on third-downs, brings the “it” factor, and metric-wise, checks all the boxes:

Courtesy of Player Profiler

Assuming Hurts is off the board as many suspect, I’d turn my attention to the following options (just to name a few, and in no particular order):

Linebacker: Malik Harrison, Troy Dye, Willie Gay Jr.

Running back: Cam Akers, if he slips, and Antonio Gibson, who offers supreme versatility

Wide receiver: Michael Pittman Jr., who was a big-time Combine winner (and may not be available in this range as a result), and Bryan Edwards (the opposite of Pittman, a Combine “loser”, who is unfortunately working through a foot injury now)

Defensive linemen and Edge defender: Jordan Elliott (IDL) and Curtis Weaver (EDGE)

Safety: Kyle Dugger (small school player with plus-athleticism) and Antonie Winfield Jr. (good #bloodlines; impressive overall play-maker)

Round 3, 81 Overall: Safety Jeremy Chinn (Southern Illinois)

Mr. Joe Goodberry of The Athletic tabbed Jeremy Chinn as an [Isaiah] Simmons-like player, with his ability to play all over the defensive alignment. In Las Vegas, I’d deploy him as such; let him roam and make plays.

Per NFL.com’s Combine database

Saluki Football on Twitter

WATCH | Jeremy Chinn makes an INCREDIBLE diving interception. #Salukis #SCTop10 #RunWithUs https://t.co/s3Gjzuci3r

Round 3, 91 Overall: WR Chase Claypool (Notre Dame)

Speaking of big Combine winners, and special athletes, fewer had a more impressive showing than wide receiver (and/or future tight end?) Chase Claypool. At this point in the draft, you want to throw the darts and shoot for pure upside plays. Basically, you want the freak athletes.

For the Raiders, an addition like Claypool makes a lot of sense given the lack of options at the pass-catching spots. His versatility would be a welcomed addition; could work outside, big slot, etc. A 4.42 forty at 6-4, 238 doesn’t even make sense to me. I’m very comfortable gambling on that type of player.

ryan, a jerry jeudy fan on Twitter

Exit Eq St. Brown, enter Chase Claypool. Notre Dame has talented pass-catchers, and Claypool’s ceiling is arguably the highest. Excited to see how this season plays out for him. https://t.co/00NBRmnwo2

A very subtle tout back in 2018

Round 4, 121 Overall: LB Akeem Davis-Gaither (Appalachian State)

Doubled-up at wide receiver, and now doubling-up at linebacker. I think it’s important to hit on certain positions in this draft, but I’m always a big proponent of just drafting for value and best available player — there’s a good chance that Akeem Davis-Gaither is both at this point.

A touch undersized, but throwing on the #film, you wouldn’t know it. Much like Queen, fits the mold of what you want at the second-level nowadays. The smaller school defender is able to flow around effortlessly given his build and athletic profile:

Goodberry on Twitter

Akeem Davis-Gaither (24) is lean at just 219 lbs., but how does he deal with linemen in the run game and as a pass rusher? His quick hands and athleticism make him a hard target. When you think of athletic linebackers, think of Akeem. https://t.co/8K0BjBvDPE

Another gem from Goodberry, who also like good players

As we always do, now is your time to tell me what you agree with or disagree with; where I knocked it outta the park and also where I fumbled things unimaginably so. Tell me what you would do differently — don’t hold back.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive


6 thoughts on “2020 Draft: Mid-March, 4-Round Mock Draft

  1. How about Anthony Gordon of Washington State? He’s 6’3″ 210 lbs and only 19 years old. In my opinion, Queen is ok but undersized and won’t give the Raiders any better ability to cover an opposing teams tight end, something they’ll probably never be able to do by the way. At 19, Anthony Gordon has nothing but upside. Let’s say he pulls an Aaron Rodgers and sits for a couple of years, he’ll only be 21. If Gruden and Mayock don’t get him they’ll be making a big mistake that will haunt the Raiders for years. Reggie McKenzie passed on Russell Wilson. This guy could be the second coming of Tom Brady and could push Carr to deliver. He’s too young, enthusiastic and talented to pass on.

    1. He’s not 19. He was just completed his 5th year red-shirt season at WSU. He graduated HS in 2015.

  2. Murray over Queen. The other selections are great….Hurts is a polarizing player, but the Raiders need a quality backup. And Hurts being different than Carr would throw a kink in opposing teams defensive game plans if Carr were to go down.

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