51°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Mock draft gives Raiders needed playmakers on both sides of ball

Updated January 3, 2020 - 9:01 am

The 2020 NFL draft will be on the Strip in 111 days and counting and, even though the entire draft order won’t be determined until after Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2, draft season is in full swing with the winding down of the college bowl season.

Underclassmen have until Jan. 18 to declare for the draft, but it’s never too early to break down who will go where.

While the Raiders could jump up to select the successor to Derek Carr at quarterback because of their ample draft capital — two first-round picks (12th and 19th) and three third-rounders in the first 90 picks — the timing doesn’t seem right for that. It’s more likely the Raiders attempt to identify a developmental passer in the later rounds and continue to build off the success they found in general manager Mike Mayock’s first draft last year.

The Raiders were in playoff contention until the very last game, but they’ll need playmakers on both sides of the ball to take the next step.

In the first edition of the Review-Journal’s mock draft, we found those players in Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons and Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs III.

Simmons isn’t a perfect fit for the Raiders’ 4-3 scheme — he’s a converted safety who would be a better fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker — but at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds with blazing speed, he’s just a freak athlete and you figure out a way for him to make plays. He won the Butkus Award in 2019 as college’s best linebacker after posting 9.5 sacks, 19 pass breakups, three interceptions and five forced fumbles.

It was just his second year at the position and he’s not close to his ceiling. The Raiders desperately need a weakside linebacker who can cover and make plays, and Simmons fits the bill.

The Raiders obviously lacked a playmaker at receiver after the Antonio Brown circus left town, and Ruggs has that kind of potential. He’s one of the fastest players in college football and is a threat to score on every play from any place on the field. Ruggs averaged a team-high 18.9 yards per catch to rank 24th nationally, with 26 of his 38 receptions going for a Tide first down or touchdown.

A receiver like Ruggs playing alongside tight end Darren Waller and running back Josh Jacobs would give Gruden three dynamic playmakers who would rank among the NFL’s best trios.

Here’s the rest of the Review-Journal’s mock draft (* – denotes underclassman):

1. Cincinnati Bengals

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) works against Oklahoma during the first half of the Peach Bowl N ...
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) works against Oklahoma during the first half of the Peach Bowl NCAA semifinal college football playoff game, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Andy Dalton can easily be released and Ryan Finley obviously isn’t ready. Burrows follows Carson Palmer (2003) as the Bengals’ No. 1 overall picks at QB.

2. Washington Redskins

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young (2) during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college ...
Ohio State defensive end Chase Young (2) during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game against Clemson, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri).

Chase Young, DE, Ohio State*

This pick would have been different before Ron Rivera was hired, but he’s already hired former Raiders coach Jack Del Rio and Young is a perfect fit for his vanilla 4-3 scheme.

3. Detroit Lions

In this Aug. 31, 2019, file photo, Ohio State defensive back Jeff Okudah plays against Florida ...
In this Aug. 31, 2019, file photo, Ohio State defensive back Jeff Okudah plays against Florida Atlantic in an NCAA college football game, in Columbus, Ohio. Okudah was selected to The Associated Press All-Big Conference team, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State*

The Lions were terrible on defense down the stretch. so they can use help anywhere, but a lockdown corner is the best way to start.

4. New York Giants

Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) runs after a reception against Michigan during the first ...
Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) runs after a reception against Michigan during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama*

The coaching hire could swing this, but for now we’ll go with the best player on the board. He’s a true No. 1 receiver.

5. Miami Dolphins

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) carries the ball during the first half of an NCAA colle ...
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) carries the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Citadel, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tagovailoa was named to the 2018 AP All-America NCAA college football second-team, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama*

The hip surgery is a big concern — if he turns pro with his announcement Monday — but Ryan Fitzpatrick is the perfect bridge quarterback.

6. Los Angeles Chargers

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert passes against Wisconsin during first half of the Rose Bowl N ...
Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert passes against Wisconsin during first half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Justin Herbert, QB Oregon

The run on quarterbacks ramps up as Chargers get the heir apparent for Philip Rivers while also leaving a spot open for a bridge veteran (hint: Tom Brady — go get Brady).

7. Carolina Panthers

Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown during the first half of the Outback Bowl NCAA college fo ...
Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown during the first half of the Outback Bowl NCAA college football game against Minnesota Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

Will depend on who the coach is, but the Panthers might not have Dontari Poe, Gerald McCoy or Vernon Butler by the draft, so it’s time to restock the middle of the line.

8. Arizona Cardinals

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2019, file photo, Georgia offensive lineman Andrew Thomas (71) is shown ...
FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2019, file photo, Georgia offensive lineman Andrew Thomas (71) is shown in action during the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Murray State, in Athens, Ga. Thomas was selected to The Associated Press All-American team, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia*

Both tackles could be free agents and the protection around Kyler Murray needs to be much better.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2019, file photo, Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb celebrates after ...
FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2019, file photo, Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against UCLA, in Pasadena, Calif. Lamb was selected to The Associated Press All-Big 12 Conference team, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma*

A big (6-2, 191) receiver with good speed and great yards-after-the-catch ability would be a good fit.

10. Cleveland Browns

In this Sept. 14, 2019, file photo, Iowa offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs plays against Iowa St ...
In this Sept. 14, 2019, file photo, Iowa offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs plays against Iowa State during an NCAA football game, in Ames, Iowa. Wirfs was selected to The Associated Press All-Big Ten Conference team, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth, File)

Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa*

A bit of a reach here, but the Browns’ tackles were awful while the inside is set with J.C. Tretter and Joel Bitonio.

11. New York Jets

Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo (11) in action against Northwestern during the second half of ...
Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo (11) in action against Northwestern during the second half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford*

Long and fast with elite ball skills, Adebo will be a Day 1 starter because he comes out of pro defense with the Cardinal.

12. Raiders

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2019, file photo, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons (11) celebrates a s ...
FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2019, file photo, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons (11) celebrates a stop against South Carolina during an NCAA college football game, in Columbia, S.C. Simmons was selected to The Associated Press All-America team, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019.(AP Photo/Sean Rayford, File)

Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson*

Receiver is definitely tempting here, but the defense, especially a poor linebacker corps, needs serious attention. Simmons is a playmaker.

13. Indianapolis Colts

Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins (5) runs against Virginia during the first half of the Atlant ...
Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins (5) runs against Virginia during the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson*

The Colts have spent a lot of draft capital on defense, and they need some weapons. Higgins is a huge (6-4) red-zone target.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Florida defensive back CJ Henderson takes up his position during the first half of an NCAA coll ...
Florida defensive back CJ Henderson takes up his position during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida*

The Bucs have swung — and missed — at more draft cornerbacks than most teams, but they really need the help there.

15. Denver Broncos

FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2019, file photo, Alabama offensive lineman Jedrick Wills Jr. (74) pla ...
FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2019, file photo, Alabama offensive lineman Jedrick Wills Jr. (74) plays against Mississippi during the second half of an NCAA college football game, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Wills was selected to The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019.(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt, File)

Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

Garrett Bolles, the 2017 first-round pick, is not a starting left tackle and Drew Lock needs blindside protection.

16. Atlanta Falcons

Boise State linebacker Curtis Weaver (99) in the second half of an NCAA college football game F ...
Boise State linebacker Curtis Weaver (99) in the second half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, in Fort Collins, Colo. Boise State won 31-24. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State*

Both Vic Beasley and Adrian Clayborn are set to be free agents this year, so the Falcons need edge rushing help.

17. Dallas Cowboys

In this Sept. 29, 2018, file photo, LSU safety Grant Delpit (9) celebrates his sack of Mississi ...
In this Sept. 29, 2018, file photo, LSU safety Grant Delpit (9) celebrates his sack of Mississippi quarterback Jordan Ta'amu during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La. Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa has been one of the nation's most electric quarterbacks, flinging one touchdown pass after another without a single interception. Delpit and the LSU defensive backs welcome the challenge on Saturday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Grant Delpit, S, LSU*

The Cowboys desperately need a consistent playmaker in the middle of the defense as Jeff Heath gets hurt a lot.

18. Miami Dolphins (via Steelers)

South Carolina defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw (3) warms up before an NCAA college football game ...
South Carolina defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw (3) warms up before an NCAA college football game against Vanderbilt Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

When you need as much help as Miami, you go with the best player on the board. The 6-6 Kinlaw would fit as a Richard Seymour-type in this Patriots scheme.

19. Raiders (via Bears)

Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (11) caries the ball against Auburn during an NCAA colleg ...
Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (11) caries the ball against Auburn during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama*

His elite speed, crisp route running and toughness in the middle of the field make him the outside weapon the Raiders sought with Antonio Brown.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Rams)

Alabama defensive lineman Raekwon Davis (99) lines up for a play against Auburn during an NCAA ...
Alabama defensive lineman Raekwon Davis (99) lines up for a play against Auburn during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama

The Jaguars’ interior run defense is porous. Davis, at 6-6 and 315 pounds, is a freak who can rush the passer and stop the run.

Order to be determined by postseason results:

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Buffalo Bills

Minnesota Vikings

Miami Dolphins (via Texans)

Seattle Seahawks

New England Patriots

Kansas City Chiefs

Green Bay Packers

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

Baltimore Ravens

Greg A. Bedard covers the NFL for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at gbedard@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GregABedard on Twitter.

Don't miss the latest Raiders news. Like our Vegas Nation page
Raiders Videos
NFL’s Roger Goodell says Las Vegas could be Super Bowl City - Video
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday morning that Las Vegas has everything a city needs to host a Super Bowl, and more.
Allegiant Stadium Set to Open on Time - VIDEO
The Las Vegas Stadium Authority board was informed during their meeting on Thursday that Allegiant Stadium will be completed on time.
Conor McGregor says he'd be honored to be the first to fight at Allegiant Stadium
;
Raiders PSLs sold out
Raiders personal seat licenses for Allegiant Stadium have sold out. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Josh Jacobs Named PFWA's Offensive Rookie of the Year - VIDEO
On Tuesday, Raiders running back Josh Jacobs was named Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Stadium roof completion date pushed back yet again - Video
Allegiant Stadium's roof, a signature feature of the building, was expected to be installed by fall but is now planned for completion by mid-May. Las Vegas Review-Journal host Cassie Soto discusses the set back with business writer and stadium insider Rick Velotta.
CES 2020: 5G could enhance fan engagement in Allegiant Stadium - Video
The integration of 5G could help enhance fan engagement at Allegiant Stadium, the home of the future Las Vegas Raiders.
Raiders Sign Richie Incognito to Contract Extension, Hope to create Continuity - VIDEO
The Raiders announced that they signed guard Richie Incognito to a contract extension, hoping to create some continuity on a team that had so much turnover this past season.
Raiders excited for the Vegas transition - VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said Monday that the team is excited for the move from Oakland to Las Vegas. The team will hold their offseason programs in Oakland and Napa before officially debuting as the Las Vegas Raiders next season.
Raiders foundation set for move to Vegas - VIDEO
While the season may not have gone as the team would have liked, the Raiders understand that they have a solid foundation for their new home. (Le'Andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders roller coaster season ends with a tough loss in Denver - VIDEO
The Raiders lost to the Broncos after a failed 2-pt conversion and finish their up-and-down season 7-9.
Raiders lose final game, end season 7-9
The Raiders lost their final game as the "Oakland Raiders," to the Denver Broncos 16-15. They end their season at seven wins and nine losses.
Raiders thank Oakland for their support as they prepare for Vegas move - VIDEO
The Raiders talk about their impending move to Las Vegas after their 16-15 loss to the Denver Broncos. The team closes the season with a 7-9 record. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders' season ends with loss to Broncos, 16-15 - Video
The Raiders 2019 season has come to a close with a 16-15 loss to the Broncos on Sunday evening, crushing any playoff hopes the Raiders had left.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Post Season Hopes Still Alive - Video
The Vegas Nation crew previews the Raiders matchup against the Denver Broncos and breaks down how the team can still make the playoffs, or at least close out the season with a win and what it means as they prepare to head to Las Vegas 2020. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Darren Waller Wins Craig Long Award - VIDEO
Raiders tight end Darren Waller was named the recipient of the sixth-annual Craig Long Award. The Craig Long Award is presented annually to the Raiders player who best exemplifies professionalism and collaboration with the media.
Jacobs doubtful Sunday, Raiders hold final regular season practice - VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden announced that Josh Jacobs would be doubtful for Sunday's game against the Broncos after the team held their final regular season practice in Oakland.
The NFL wants to showcase Raiders Las Vegas debut - VIDEO
The NFL is trying to figure out how to get as many eyes as possible on the grand opening of Allegiant Stadium in the Raiders Las Vegas debut next season.
Jacobs and Mullen among Raiders missing from Thursday's practice - VIDEO
Rookies Josh Jacobs and Trayvon Mullen were two of the six Raiders missing from Thursday's practice. The others were guards Richie Incognito and Gabe Jackson, defensive back Lamarcus Joyner and wide receiver Tyrell Williams .
Josh Jacobs Treated for a Skin Infection - VIDEO
Raiders running back Josh Jacobs underwent surgery for a “superficial skin infection.” Jacobs was among 6 players who missed practice Thursday due to injury.
Former Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch coming out of retirement - VIDEO
Late Monday night it was announced that former Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch is coming out of retirement. Lynch signed with the Seattle Seahawks, the team he won a Super Bowl with.
Weather and Playoffs cant distract Raiders against Broncos - VIDEO
The Raiders can not allow their cold weather woes and potential playoff opportunity to distract them against the Denver Broncos in the final game of the season.
Raiders have to step up once more with a Playoff chance on the line - VIDEO
The Raiders will go into Denver on Sunday looking for the season sweep of the Broncos and to give themselves an opportunity for postseason play but with multiple injuries on the roster the reserves will once again have to step up in their absence.
Raiders find continuing to fight rewarding - VIDEO
The Raiders have fought through adversity all season and they might strike gold for their efforts with a wildcard birth.
Raiders win in Los Angeles revive playoff hopes - VIDEO
With their post season destiny in control of other teams around the league, Sunday's win against the Chargers revived the Raiders playoff hopes going into the last game of the season.
Raiders say they pushed through adversity for W over Chargers - VIDEO
Raiders' Hunter Renfrow, Maxx Crosby and Darren Waller talk about the team fighting back through tough situations and adversity to keep themselves in playoff contention after defeating the Los Angeles Chargers on the road, 24-17. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders keep playoff hopes alive, beat Chargers 24-17 - Video
The Raiders beat the Chargers 24-17 on Sunday afternoon to snap a four-game losing streak and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Vegas Nation: Raiders-Chargers Game Preview Video
The Raiders are the visiting team against the Chargers, but the influx of Raiders fans may give the Silver and Black a home field advantage. Ed Graney and Myles Simmons preview the matchup, discuss how Josh Jacobs and Ritchie Incognito's injuries could affect the team and talk about who wants it more in what could be Philip Rivers' final game in a Chargers uniform. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders continue to fight through injury riddled season - VIDEO
on Friday, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden announced that offensive guard Richie Incognito and linebacker Marquel Lee would be out for Sunday's game against the Chargers. The team has suffered numerous injuries to key positions throughout the season. (Le'andre Fox/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Richie Incognito Out Sunday Against Chargers - VIDEO
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden announced Friday that offensive guard Richie Incognito will be out Sunday against the Chargers.
Raiders sign linebacker Ukeme Eligwe - VIDEO
The Raiders signed linebacker Ukeme Eligwe from the Jets' practice squad. Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow has been nursing a rib injury since the Raiders' loss to the Jets but he looks ready to play Sunday against the Chargers. With Josh Jacobs out this week, newly signed running back Rod Smith has a chance to join the rotation.
Hunter Renfrow set to return against Chargers - VIDEO
Raiders rookie wide receiver is set to make his return from injury Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers after missing the last 3 games with a rib injury
Roger Goodell tours Allegiant Stadium
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell toured $2 billion Allegiant Stadium and called Las Vegas a "Super Bowl city" on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.
THE LATEST
5 Raiders with Las Vegas ties

The ties between Las Vegas and the Raiders existed long before owner Mark Davis decided to move the team to the Southern Nevada desert in 2017.