Everyone thought the Raiders were going to trade down in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. They were without a second-round pick, and the quickest way to pick one up is to move down the board.
General manager Mike Mayock had an opportunity to move down at No. 19, but instead, the Raiders drafted Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette. But the Silver and Black also had a chance to move down earlier in the draft when they went on the clock with the No. 12 overall pick.
NBC Sports' Peter King was virtually embedded in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' draft room. In his latest Football Morning In America column, King details that Bucs general manager Jason Licht offered the Raiders the No. 14 overall pick, a third-round, fifth-round and sixth-round pick for the Raiders' No. 12 pick and their third-round pick at No. 81.
With all three top wide receivers still on the board, Mayock rejected the trade offer and stood pat, drafting Alabama speedster Henry Ruggs.
The Bucs -- lusting after Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs -- immediately made a trade with the 49ers to move up one selection and give new quarterback Tom Brady the protection he needs.
All draft, the Raiders were locked in on their guys and made the picks regardless of traditional draft value, They wanted speed, so they stood pat at 12 and put Ruggs in silver and black.
Turning down Licht's offer isn't something to be upset about. Coach Jon Gruden had targeted Ruggs, and with no second-round pick being offered, there was no temptation to move back. Plus, with the 49ers sitting at No. 13, there's no doubt the Raiders were concerned if they moved back to 14 that San Francisco might take Ruggs. The Raiders also wouldn't have been picking up a second-round pick -- something they needed -- so the trade would have been a net-zero while risking missing out on Ruggs should the 49ers pounce.
Ruggs was their guy. His game-changing speed and dynamic play-making ability gives the Raiders something they didn't have last season. He's a weapon who can help the Raiders level the playing field in the AFC West. Moving down and risking losing him for an extra fifth- and sixth-round pick would have made zero sense.
It's the Raiders' decision not to move down from No. 19 that remains puzzling.
The Silver and Black likely could have traded down from No. 19 -- probably twice -- and still would have been able to draft Arnette while picking up and extra pick or two. The number of talented players that went off the board in the second- and early-third-round made the Raiders' decision to not find a second-round pick frustrating.
Arnette is a talented player who fits the Raiders' scheme well. In a vacuum, the pick makes a ton of sense. He's tough, physical, good in coverage and has an edge to him that Gruden loves. Gruden also believes Arnette's a better corner than Jeff Okudah, who went No. 3 overall.
But the Raiders could have grabbed their guy a little later on and picked up a selection to add more talent to this draft class. They chose to not and ended up with a draft class filled with speed, toughness and edge.
Time will tell if they made the right move.
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