The moment we've all been waiting for… drum roll please.
Draft season has arrived, Raider Nation!
For the next three months, NFL analysts will refine their mock drafts and make their predictions for Draft Night in Las Vegas. The Raiders will have a lot of draft capital once again this year, as they own two first-round picks and three third-round picks.
With the 2019 campaign now in the rearview mirror, I know Head Coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock are hard at work trying to figure out who the newest members of the Silver and Black will be. Mayock's former colleague Daniel Jeremiah has been hard at work as well, and recently released his first 2020 mock draft. While I highly doubt Mayock has given him any hints as to who he's targeting, Jeremiah certainly understands Mayock's philosophy and has identified the two biggest needs on the Raiders' roster in his first breakdown; let's take a look at who he has the team selecting with the No. 12 and No. 19 overall picks.
No. 12 overall - CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
With the Raiders' first pick in the draft, Jeremiah anticipates that Gruden and Mayock will upgrade their receiving corps, considering the team never really found a WR1 last season. Jeremiah – and several other NFL pundits – have Lamb pegged as the top wide receiver in the draft and he would bring plenty of size and speed to the group. The 6'2" wide out is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and topped more than 11 touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. He totaled 3,292 receiving yards and 32 touchdowns during his time as a Sooner, and his red zone presence would be a welcome sight for Gruden.
No. 19 overall - Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
During the National Championship game, I tweeted that Queen would be a perfect fit for defensive coordinator Paul Guenther's unit and would immediately fill a gaping hole at the linebacker position for the Silver and Black. Well, it's clear Jeremiah feels the same way after reviewing his mock draft.
"The Raiders need to get faster and more dynamic on defense. Queen plays sideline to sideline, and he's outstanding in coverage."
The Raiders have been desperately needing a linebacker in the middle of the field who does it all, and Queen fits the bill perfectly. His size and stature are comparable to former Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith who also weighed 225 pounds coming out of college and stood at 6'1". Queen only has two pounds on Smith, but his playstyle is similar to Smith's in the sense he's got a keen nose for the football, and the speed to nullify plays before they get going.
It's always a possibility Gruden and Mayock opt to trade the picks or go with different players, but Lamb and Queen are the clear choices at two positions the Raiders need to address in the draft.
As we get closer to the Draft, stay tuned to more updates and information on Raiders.com. If you'd like to see Jeremiah's full mock draft, click here.