Very few people should have been surprised that the Las Vegas Raiders’ first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft was a wide receiver. Although there was no telling that Henry Ruggs III would be the receiver the Raiders went with, there was no doubt that they were looking for some speed on the outside.
Two rounds later, the Raiders added another wide receiver in Bryan Edwards. Hopefully with these two new additions, the Raiders can avoid the rotating cast of wide receivers that comprised Derek Carr’s targets last year.
Carr already has expressed his happiness over the team’s new additions at receiver, and according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, is really happy with the line of communication he has with Jon Gruden during the draft process:
“Man, I was excited. I was really shocked that we got two receivers. I thought we were going to just get one, but I knew Coach had a really big love for (Bryan Edwards). And we were communicating. It’s really fun … man. I’ll tell you this, this has been three drafts with Coach, and for three years now, he’ll call me the morning of. We’re talking about a player or he’ll text me because I’ll ask him a question and he’ll say, ‘We’re looking at 1, 2, 3, 4. These are the four things we’re looking at.’ And then like, I get to watch the draft and afterward say, ‘We really just did all four things that he said.’” (Laughs)
“It’s really cool because our communication level has just been amazing for three years and it just continues to grow. And even in these virtual meetings … being able to watch the draft and be like, “Man, him and (Mike) Mayock did everything they said they were going to do.” That’s really fun for me, especially as a leader and as a captain on the team.”
With some prime wide receiver targets and an ever-growing relationship with his head coach, Carr could be in for another special season in 2020. Although he could not lead the Raiders to a winning record in 2019, finishing 7-9, he did have his best season from a statistical standpoint. He finished the season with a career-high 4,054 yards on a career-high 70.4% completion rate and did all that with 17 different targets throughout the season.
Hopefully with a consistent group down the field, Carr will be able to take his game to another level. Of course, his most likely target will still be Darren Waller, but with Ruggs’ speed, Carr should be able to keep defenses on their toes with a few bombs each game.