Las Vegas Raiders: 2020 NFL Combine Preview 


The 2020 NFL Combine kicks off today, Thursday, February 27.


With the 2020 NFL Draft season ahead, the Las Vegas Raiders are coming off a 2019 NFL Draft that helped them improve at multiple positions. The Raiders are currently the holders of two first-round draft picks this year, and they are hoping to bring in some more game-changing talent to help fit their roster in Las Vegas.


Photo Credit: The Raiders

With the possession of the #12 and #19 overall picks, the Raiders will have the upper hand with their selections. The positions that currently need upgrades on this roster are wide receiver, linebacker, and cornerback. After first-year general manager, Mike Mayock was able to bring in some talented athletes in last year’s draft; he is looking to do the same this year. With that being said, Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden will have their hands full this week, scouting all the prospects in this draft class.


Everything goes down this week as the top athletes in college football will take part in the 2020 NFL Combine taking place at Lucas Oil Stadium. There they will put their skills to the test in hopes of improving their draft stock. Bench press starts on Wednesday, followed by the positional group workouts, which will take place on Thursday with the quarterbacks as well as the wide receivers.

This combine will be an opportunity for a lot of people to get a good look at what the upcoming draft class has to offer.


Here is a look at this weeks schedule according on the position group


Thursday, February 27: 3:30 PM, Quarterbacks, and Wide Receivers
• Friday, February 28: 5:30 PM, Running Backs
• Saturday, February 29: 2:00 PM, Defensive Line, and Linebackers
• Sunday, March 1: 12:00 PM, Defensive Backs


As for the Raiders, this will be a weekend of intense scouting. When it comes to the lacking positions being the linebacker spot and cornerback, they are going to want to pay special attention to the prospects in those positions. The defense is going to be key for the Raiders this upcoming season, and it starts by filling in those positions. However, that day doesn’t come until later in the combine; until then, the Raiders are going to be locked in on the offensive side today.

This will be an important draft for this Raiders team. A team that holds five picks in the first 91 selections, they are going to want to make every selection count. With the combine taking place, this will be a good opportunity for them to scout exactly who they will need to help fill in those missing pieces to the puzzle.


Quarterback & Receiver position


Photo Credit: AP Photo/Stephen Brashear



The Raiders will have to make the most of this entire combine, and with the quarterbacks and receivers starting things off on today, the Silver and Black brain trust will be keeping a close eye on both positional groups. Joe Burrow is projected to go first overall to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Raiders will be keeping an eye on Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon’s Justin Herbert, in-case they slip in the draft with a potential sleeper in a lot of scouts eyes, Jacob Eason from Washington as another potential option.



Tua Tagovailoa – Quarterback – Alabama

Jordan Love – Quarterback – Utah State

James Morgan – Quarterback – Florida International University

Jacob Eason – Quarterback – Washington

Jake Fromm – Quarterback – Georgia

Many scouts are looking at this draft as the deepest at the receiver spot than it has been in recent years. For the Raiders, it is a fortunate opportunity for them to fill that spot on their roster. There is the possibility the Raiders could target Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy at pick #12 or they could decide to use pick #19 pick to get a receiver, and possibly target either Clemson’s Tee Higgins or Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III, who is also reported to be the fastest athlete taking part in the combine but the entire draft.

Photo Credit: Siver and Black Pride

From the variety of receivers taking part in the combine, Gruden and Mayock will get a good look at what the prospects have to offer, and here are few names to watch for.

Brandon Aiyuk – Wide Receiver – Arizona State

Henry Ruggs III – Wide Receiver – Alabama

CeeDee Lamb – Wide Receiver – Oklahoma

Jerry Jeudy – Wide Receiver – Alabama

Tee Higgins – Wide Receiver – Clemson

Justin Jefferson – Wide Receiver – LSU


Linebacker position

Photo Credit: OU Daily

The Raiders will be looking for a middle linebacker for their 4-3 base defense. The best fit for this position is Isaiah Simmons out of Clemson, but he is unlikely to be available when the Raiders pick at 12. With that being said, ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. feels the next best player is Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray, who he picked #19 in his latest mock draft.

More players may come to mind first when looking at all the prospects who play linebacker, however, with the #19 pick, naturally, it would be in the Raiders best interest to draft a player like Murray when they are on the clock with their second first-round pick.

Murray is a fast, sideline-to-sideline linebacker who is a ferocious hitter. He plays the game fast and violent and is the ideal modern-day inside linebacker. What some scouts are saying is he needs to have better on-field recognition or recognize plays faster.

Here are a few linebackers to keep a close eye on during the combine.

Isaiah Simmons – Linebacker – Clemson

Kenneth Murray – Linebacker – Oklahoma

K’Lavon Chaisson – Linebacker – LSU

Patrick Queen – Linebacker – LSU

Malik Harrison – Linebacker – Ohio State

Cornerback position

Photo Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

With the Las Vegas Raiders have three third-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, there are more than a few holes that need to be filled on defense and this is the round a lot of them could be filled. The cornerback position would be the one that stands out to me. Although the Raiders have some young guns at the spot, the position group as a unit could use some help altogether.

There are some stellar cornerbacks in this draft, headlined by Jeffery Okudah out of Ohio St. University of Florida cornerback CJ Henderson, and Alabama’s Trevon Diggs are the other first-round cornerbacks that could be impact guys for the Raiders secondary.

Taking a look at free agency, there are also several players who can come onto the Raiders roster and help improve the position this upcoming season. Guys such as Bradley Roby, Logan Ryan, and Chris Harris, are a part of a pretty deep free agent pool for the position. It has also been reported that former Dallas Cowboys corner Byron Jones has the potential to be another addition to the roster following free agency.

Despite their first-round picks and five picks in the first three rounds of the draft, the Raiders will have some tough decisions to make. It comes down to whether they should use those early picks to draft a quarterback, wide receiver, linebacker, or cornerback. What works for them is the amount of salary-cap space they have to add a few free agents to help fill in a big piece of the puzzle and use the draft to continue to create the foundation.


You can watch the 2020 NFL Combine exclusively on the NFL Network. Hosted by award-winning Rich Eisen, featuring Daniel Jeremiah, Charles Davis, and Ian Rapoport, the all-day coverage gives you the latest news and updates with the drills starting at 3:30 pm.  

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