17. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (8-8)
LAST SEASON: The Raiders’ first season in Las Vegas got off to a promising start with a 6-3 record before coach Jon Gruden’s team stumbled to the finish for a second straight year. Three years into Gruden’s second stint the Raiders still haven’t posted a winning record. The offense took some strides last season under QB Derek Carr but the defense remains one of the worst in the league, leading to Gus Bradley being hired to replace Paul Guenther as coordinator.
FREE AGENCY: The Raiders traded away starting OL Rodney Hudson, Trent Brown and Gabe Jackson for mid-round draft picks in an attempt to save money on the offensive line. The biggest addition was DE Yannick Ngakoue, the team’s best edge rusher since Khalil Mack was traded in 2018. Las Vegas also added several depth pieces on the defensive line but did little to address the secondary other than bringing back S Karl Joseph for a second stint. WR John Brown was signed to replace Nelson Agholor and Kenyan Drake adds a pass-catching RB with starter Josh Jacobs.
THEY NEED: OL, S, CB, WR.
THEY DON’T NEED: QB, RB, TE.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Virginia Tech OL Christian Darrisaw, Oklahoma State OL Teven Jenkins, TCU S Trevon Moehrig.
OUTLOOK: The Raiders enter the draft with glaring needs at right tackle and free safety and could address those spots in the first two rounds. There are still questions at cornerback despite using high draft picks on Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette the past two seasons. Last year’s rookie WRs Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards didn’t produce much in their first year so adding another dynamic player there could be the move as well.
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