In a span of three days, the Las Vegas Raiders got faster — much, much faster — stronger, and deeper.
The 2020 NFL Draft was yet another strong outing by General Manager Mike Mayock and Head Coach Jon Gruden, as they added a handful of new offensive weapons for Derek Carr and Co., ahead of next season.
With the additions of Henry Ruggs III, Lynn Bowden Jr., and Bryan Edwards, the offense is going to look a lot different in 2020. Each player possesses a unique skill they bring to the table and when coupled with an already talented group of players, such as Josh Jacobs, Alec Ingold, and Darren Waller, the Raiders are going to be the most entertaining show in Las Vegas.
Following the draft, Gruden joined JT The Brick on The Game Plan to discuss his new weapons and how they'll try to utilize them going forward. He also touched on the team's decision to draft Ruggs, given all the talent at the position, and why he's the right fit for the Raiders.
"We had a tough decision, obviously, there's a lot of good receivers in this draft, but we were united on Ruggs," Gruden explained. "Ruggs' speed, his strength, his playing style, his versatility, is something we feel like we have to have back in this organization. We were known for speed in years past and we're going to be known for speed going forward."
Ruggs will certainly be a focal point of the offense next year and beyond, but Gruden doesn't want to get away from his vintage smash-mouth style of football. The draft picks will be electrifying and provide a much needed spark in a competitive division, but with Waller, a healthy Foster Moreau, and veteran Jason Witten in the mix, Gruden revealed some hints about what he envisions for his offense.
"We want to use three tight ends at a time, no disrespect to the receivers, but we're going to put three tight ends out there," he said. "Moreau, Waller, Jason Witten, and we're going to run it in play action and we're going to play old school football. We have a fullback, so we're going to use a two-back set with Josh Jacobs and [Alec] Ingold."
Last year, Jacobs, Ingold, and Waller earned the attention of players and coaches around the league with their highlights and immense talent, but defensive coordinators quickly started scheming ways to eliminate their contributions from the equation; however, with the new pieces the Raiders have added in the offseason, Gruden is confident the team can hurt and counter opponents in a handful of ways.
"Now, we have the receivers to spread you out," Gruden said. "If we want to go four wide, or five wide at a time that's what we'll do, but we have the ability now I think with our personnel to adapt on a weekly basis to attack whoever we're playing, and play aggressively."
The AFC West has turned into an arms race, as the Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, and Denver Broncos try to contend with the reigning Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs. Every divisional matchup next season will feel like watching a high-scoring Madden matchup, and the Raiders are now equipped with more than enough talent to compete.
Take a look through photos from the first draft class of the Las Vegas Raiders.