Sunday, September 24

Raiders 2020 NFL Draft class already huge flop after cuts from Henry Ruggs and Damon Arnette

Typically, it takes at least three full seasons to properly assess whether an NFL team’s draft class is good.

That won’t be the case when looking at the Raiders’ 2020 NFL Draft class. We can already confidently say that it was a huge failure.

The Raiders had seven picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. All of them were in the top 139 picks. They had multiple first-round picks along with three third-round picks and two fourth-round picks. It represented a great opportunity for the team to add an infusion of talent to a 7-9 team and become a potential playoff contender.

However, things did not go well. Now, just a year and a half later, most of the members of that draft class aren’t even on the team anymore. And even fewer are having a legitimate impact in Las Vegas.

Below is a breakdown of the Raiders’ 2020 NFL Draft class and what they have done since arriving in Las Vegas.

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2020 Raiders NFL Draft Picks

The Raiders used seven picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. They spent four picks on offense and three on defense. They primarily focused on improving their receiving corps: Two of their offensive picks were used on receivers and one was used on a hybrid receiver-bar-runner, and his secondary.

Here’s a look at all of their picks.

Round Choose Player Position School
1 12 Henry Ruggs WR Alabama
1 19 Damon Arnette CB State of ohio
3 80 Bryan edwards WR South Carolina
3 81 Lynn bowden RB / WR Kentucky
3 100 Tanner muse LB Clemson
4 109 John simpson OL Clemson
4 139 Amik robertson CB Louisiana Tech

This seemed like a class full of potential after the draft, but in the time since, many of the picks have been quickly ruined.

Henry Ruggs

Ruggs was the first receiver selected in the 2020 NFL Draft, surprising many who thought CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy would come off the board first. But the Raiders loved Ruggs’ speed, so they rolled with him.

Ruggs struggled to get involved in the Raiders offense as a rookie, as more than a quarter of his 452 receiving yards came in one game. He looked like he was on his way to a standout season in 2021 and led the NFL with 19.5 receiving yards and 469 yards in seven games.

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However, Ruggs was involved in a fatal car accident just after the Raiders’ farewell on November 2, 2021. His Corvette rear-ended a Toyota Rav4 driven by 23-year-old Tina Tintor at 3:39 am local time. in Las Vegas, Nev. Ruggs was traveling 156 mph at the time of the accident, and both Tintor and his dog, Max, were killed in the accident.

Ruggs’ blood alcohol content at the time of his arrest was more than double the legal limit. He was charged with DUI that resulted in death, DUI that resulted in substantial bodily harm, reckless driving that resulted in death or substantial bodily harm, and possession of a weapon while under the influence. He faces a significant jail sentence and will likely never play in the NFL again.

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Damon Arnette

Arnette was seen as a great reach when the Raiders spent the 19th pick on him during the draft. He was thought to be an up-and-coming second-round prospect, but he had significant maturity issues entering the league. Those quickly became a problem in Las Vegas.

The Raiders saw Arnette play in 13 games for them with seven starts over more than two seasons in Las Vegas. He totaled 29 tackles and three pass defenses for the team and failed to earn a starting spot in his second season.

Arnette landed on IR after Week 4 in 2021, but on November 5, 2021, a video of Arnette brandishing a weapon and threatening to kill an individual emerged. The Raiders released him on Monday, November 8, and Mayock cited his maturity issues as the number one problem. Mayock also took the blame for sniffing at Arnette despite the red flags.

“At the time, we thought it was an acceptable risk,” Mayock said, according to ESPN. “After doing more homework on Arnette than we’ve ever done in the years I’ve been here. And obviously, we miss each other, and that’s 100% mine.”

MORE: Why the Raiders Released Damon Arnette, Explained

Lynn Bowden Jr.

Bowden actually played as a race-oriented quarterback during his final season at Kentucky, but was expected to be used as a Swiss Army knife at the NFL level. After all, he had 1,530 rushing yards and 1,303 receiving yards during his college days.

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The Raiders selected Bowden with the goal of making him a running back. He had played catcher before becoming a quarterback with the Wildcats, but offensive coordinator Greg Olson saw some potential with Bowden in the RPO game.

“You see the game change from year to year, the use of RPOs (career-pass options) and the use of Taysom Hills, those kinds of players who played RPO-style offense in college, they become valuable.” , Olson said of Bowden in early August 2020, by “We think he can transition and be a running back, as well as make some of those plays at quarterback that he did in college.”

Well, apparently, that didn’t work. Bowden didn’t even make the regular season with the Raiders before they traded him and a sixth-round pick to the Dolphins for a 2021 fourth-round pick. So they basically sold Bowden, a third-round pick, for pennies on the dollar and gave him only a few months to try a new position.

Bowden was a catcher again, catching 28 passes for 211 yards as a rookie. He will not play in 2021 after sustaining a hamstring injury that ended the season in late August.

Brian edwards

Here’s a guy that has worked for the Raiders so far. Edwards played sparingly as a rookie, seeing action on about 24 percent of plays. He caught 11 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown in three starts.

In his sophomore year, Edwards has played nearly 80 percent of plays and has 18 receptions for 346 yards and two TDs this season. He is averaging 19.2 yards per reception and has good athletic ability at 6-3. Derek Carr has shown some late-game chemistry with Edwards, so perhaps he can continue to emerge as a long-term starter on the outside.

Edwards is the only one of the seven Raiders draft picks in 2020 to emerge as a starter and remained with the team through Week 10 of the 2021 NFL season.

Tanner muse

Muse joins Bowden as another third-round pick who never played a snap for the Raiders. The former Clemson safety was chosen with the 100th pick, and the Raiders wanted to make him a downhill playoff linebacker. He’d been a great special teams player at Clemson, so that was an added bonus.

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Muse struggled with injuries to his toes and feet as a rookie and was unable to enter the field. He had two separate stints on IR and also landed on the COVID-19 list. He was unable to make the team in 2021 and was eliminated between final cuts by the Raiders.

The Seahawks took Muse and he played his first NFL game in Week 8 against the Seahawks. He had two tackles in that contest, and that comprises his entire lineup of NFL stats to date.

John simpson

Simpson was a product of Clemson, like Muse, but his career has improved somewhat since he was selected nine picks after his teammate.

While Simpson started just two games as a rookie, he has started all eight games for the Raiders as left guard in place of Richie Incognito. Simpson has allowed only one sack but has committed five penalties. He was ranked 60th out of 76 qualified escorts in 2021, according to Professional soccer approach.

Simpson hasn’t been a flop so far, but he does look like a below-average starter. However, that’s not too bad for a fourth-round pick, so the Raiders won’t complain too much about him.

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Amik robertson

Robertson was the Raiders’ last pick in 2020 and came in with the 139 pick. He stood at just 5-8, but the Raiders hoped he could become a solid slot player.

Robertson played just 70 total plays as a rookie, half on defense and half on special teams. He has played 134 defensive plays in 2021, but 113 of them came in a span of two games. He has appeared in six games, but played mostly special teams in three of them.

Robertson did not play for the Raiders in either Week 7 or Week 9, so it appears that he has been benched under Rich Bisaccia. He may be able to bounce back, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to be a critical part of the team’s secondary advancement.

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