The path to the Las Vegas Raiders fixing their wide receiver group is getting interesting as the NFL Combine gets underway in Indianapolis. Luckily for the silver and black, there are many talented wide receivers entering the 2020 NFL Draft and they’re about to get a good look at them. CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma is likely to be one of the first two wide receivers taken off the board and has a good shot of getting selected by the Raiders with the 12th pick. He wouldn’t mind that one bit.
“Just to potentially be playing in the NFL, I’m grateful,” Lamb said at the Combine, via 247 Sports. “But playing for the Raiders and Coach [Jon] Gruden, it would be a huge honor on my end. Like I said, I’m very grateful for the opportunity. I truly mean that.”
Jon Gruden loves players who want to be Raiders and Lamb expressing that certainly helps his chances of getting drafted by the team. It’s very possible he doesn’t make it to the 12th pick, but if he does, it’s hard to imagine Las Vegas would be willing to pass on him.
Raiders Met With Lamb Already
The Raiders have wasted no time getting ahold of Lamb and he revealed that he spoke with the team.
“Yeah, I talked to the Raiders,” Lamb said. “They’re a young group. They’re trying to make a new transition and, like I said, if I’m fortunate enough to get picked up by them, they’re going to get everything I have.”
Lamb went onto praise the team and Jon Gruden.
“They’re very young and they’re talented, and they’re trying to get something started that only people in that room and in that locker room know,” he said. “And energy like that is what I love to be around, and like that’s kind of the energy we had at OU. Not many people knew what we had in the locker room, except for the people in that locker room. They believe in what they have going on, and Jon Gruden’s a great coach.”
If the Raiders are going to invest a first-round pick, they’re going to ensure that they’re drafting the right guy. Lamb seems to be excited about the challenge to put in the work with the silver and black. He could be exactly what the team needs.
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Mike Mayock Cautious About Drafting Wide Receiver
Lamb may end up being the best wide receiver of the entire draft class, but general manager Mike Mayock is going to be very cautious about draft a wide receiver.
“I think there are several reasons. Reason number one: The lack of quality press coverage in college football,” Mayock said at the Combine. “When you’ve got a grown man trying to keep you off the line of scrimmage that’s competent, long, and tough that’s a different issue. That’s number one.”
There have been so many high-profile draft busts at wide receiver in recent years and the Raiders can’t afford to waste one of their first-round picks.
“Number two: When you are able to get off the line of scrimmage and the picture changes, the coverage changes, you could go from being the third option on the backside to the first option on the front side,” Mayock said. “You got to filter that on the run without slowing down, so think about it, when you have to slow down and you’re thinking, what happens? Physically you’re slower, you’re not there [mentally]. Why do guys not look as quick in college? That’s usually the biggest tell tale is that they’re confused. They’re not sure where they’re going.”
Mayock wants to make sure that if they draft a wide receiver, they’re going to be able to adapt to the NFL game.
“I think number three is just how much offense you have to absorb,” he said. “I’ve met with some of the college wideouts this year and what they’re doing… half of them are looking at the sideline and they have their own individual coach telling them what route to run. Jon Gruden’s head would explode. You better get in there and get in the huddle and learn three positions not one, and what he’s asking you to learn is mind boggling. I think those are the three main reasons why rookie wide receivers aren’t what they should be in the NFL.”
It’s clear that Mayock has done his homework on the position and that’s a good sign. He absolutely killed it in his first draft as a general manager and there’s no reason to think he won’t do an even better job in his second go around.