Continuing to stay in character, the Las Vegas Raiders were unpredictable in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. They first turned heads when they decided to select Henry Ruggs over Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb. That move was only slightly surprising, as Ruggs was a very hot name heading into Thursday night. The move that nobody saw coming was when the team selected Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette, who was thought to be a second or third-round pick. Regardless of what fans or the media think, the Raiders clearly got the guys they wanted. However, Jon Gruden made a serious mistake in the process.
Because the draft had to be done remotely, coaches and general managers had cameras installed in their homes. Unfortunately for Gruden, he forgot to make sure that his draft board was out of the frame during the broadcast.
Luckily for the coach, it’s very difficult to make out what the board says. However, he needs to fix that issue going forward. If other teams find out who the Raiders are targeting, that could put them at a serious disadvantage. It’s a mistake Gruden likely won’t make twice.
Raiders to Host Draft in 2022
The 2020 NFL Draft was supposed to be a lavish affair, as it was set to take place in Las Vegas. The city and the Raiders had big plans, but the event had to be canceled due to the outbreak of COVID-19. While Las Vegas missed its shot in 2020, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced during the Raiders’ second selection of the first-round that Sin City would be hosting the draft in 2022.
“Congratulations to Mark Davis, Raiders organization and Raiders Nation,” Goodell said. “We look forward to being there.”
Not much more work will need to be done because the city was pretty much all set to go before the event was canceled.
“We’re thrilled the NFL has given us the opportunity to host the draft in Las Vegas in 2022, while disappointed we were unable to bring this exciting event to life this year,” said Steve Hill, CEO and president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, per ESPN. “We plan to make the 87th annual NFL draft an ‘only Vegas’ experience football fans will never forget.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis also had a chance to chime in.
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Raiders Fill Needs in Draft
Whether or not you agree with the Raiders’ decisions to draft Ruggs and Arnette, they at least were able to address positions of need. The team did get better on offense and defense on Thursday. While neither player was widely considered the best at their position, General Manager Mike Mayock proved that he’s a competent talent evaluator last season.
The jury is still out on Clelin Ferrell, but the Raiders nailed last year’s draft class. Time will tell how the team faired this year. All fans can do is trust that Mayock and Gruden know what they’re doing.