After Week 10 of the 2019 NFL season, the Las Vegas Raiders looked like they were heading for a playoff run. Their next matchup was against a mediocre New York Jets team and it was almost a given that they’d pick up a win. However, that wasn’t the case and the Raiders were blown out. The wheels fell off after that and the team ended up going 1-5 down the stretch. They still had a chance to get into the playoffs in Week 17 but faltered.
Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow was recently on The Herd and had a chance to explain what happened with the Jets loss.
“I think just being a young team, we thought everything was gonna be good and as you build a program, you need games like that,” Renfrow said. “Going into the game, we felt good. We had a good week of practice, we flew across country, got to the hotel on Friday … we just weren’t ready to play. It was cold, it was wet. You just have to create your own energy in an environment like that … that’s something we’ve got to learn from because one game changed the next four games. We played that game and then a domino effect the next three … I just don’t want that to happen ever again.”
That loss to the Jets changed the whole trajectory of the season for the Raiders. In the future, they need to figure out ways to bounce back when adversity strikes. That’s probably why the team added veterans like Jason Witten to the squad.
Mike Mayock Loves Late-Round Picks
Hunter Renfrow was a pleasant surprise for the team. He came into the NFL as a fifth-round pick and certainly doesn’t look the part of a professional wide receiver. However, he was one of Derek Carr’s most reliable targets in 2019.
Based on Mike Mayock’s first draft with the team, it’s clear that he likes late-round picks like Renfrow. He recently had a chance to talk about the importance of the later rounds.
“We think Isaiah Johnson, who’s a fourth-round pick, has a chance to be very good,” Mayock said on a Tuesday conference call. “Foster Moreau had a heck of a season as a rookie until he got hurt and Hunter Renfrow, as a fifth-round pick, had a big year in the slot. So, I think a lot of people get fired up and the mock drafts are all about the first round and people scream and yell about who the quarterbacks are, but at the end of the day, to me, the third day is just as important as the first, and so is the acquisition of the college free agents.”
If Mayock can find some players like Renfrow late in the 2020 draft, the Raiders will be in a really good spot.
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Can Raiders Get Over the Hump in 2020?
As the 2020 season approaches, the Raiders should be a hot pick to get into the playoffs. They were really close in 2019 and have only added more talent in free agency. If Mayock nails the draft once again, it’s hard not to think that they will win more games. The team just needs more consistency and that comes with experience.
The Raiders were really young last season, but that won’t be the case in 2020. If the team can figure out how to address their needs at wide receiver and cornerback in the draft, they should have enough to at least be a wild card playoff team.