The drama surrounding the Las Vegas Raiders seizes to end for the team this season. The team just recently released 2020 first-round pick Henry Ruggs due to his involvement in a car crash on November 2 that resulted in the death of 23-year-old Tina O. Tintor and her dog. Fellow 2020 first-round pick Damon Arnette then went on a rant against a person on Instagram and even sent the person videos of him brandishing a firearm while issuing death threats.
Arnette hasn’t played since Week 4 as he nurses a groin injury but when he returns, it won’t be on the Raiders. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero is reporting that the team has released the cornerback.
In a matter of six days, the Raiders have released both of their 2020 first-round picks due to off-the-field incidents. This is a stern move by the team but shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Arnette has been injured for much of his two years with the team and has played poorly when he’s on the field.
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
The Disastrous 2020 Draft Class
With Arnette getting cut, the Raiders have officially accepted that the 2020 NFL Draft was a disaster for the team. Here’s a look at the players the team drafted that year and where they now:
First round: Henry Ruggs, released.
First round: Damon Arnette, released.
Third round: Lynn Bowden, traded to Miami Dolphins before playing in a game.
Third round: Bryan Edwards, starting wide receiver.
Third round: Tanner Muse, cut before playing a game.
Fourth round: John Simpson, starting left guard.
Fourth round: Amik Robertson, backup cornerback.
That is a colossally bad draft from the Raiders. Ruggs looked like a possible star but the team could’ve had CeeDee Lamb or Justin Jefferson, who both look significantly better regardless of the situation that led to his release. To make matter worse, the Raiders drafted Arnette over Trevon Diggs and Jaylon Johnson, who both look like shutdown cornerbacks this season.
Edwards is the only player in the draft who could still pan out but he’s coming off a game against the New York Giants where he didn’t catch a single pass on four targets. Had the Raiders at least done a passable job in the 2020 draft, the franchise’s outlook could look significantly different right now.
Raiders Continue to Miss on 1st Round DBs
One thing that general manager Mike Mayock should make note of if he continues forward with the team is that he shouldn’t touch a defensive back in the first round for the rest of his career. Since 2001, the team has drafted 10 defensive backs in the first round. Only Nnamdi Asomugha made a Pro Bowl while Michael Huff was the only other to last more than five seasons in silver and black.
Obviously, these issues were present before Mayock was around but he’s continued the tradition of whiffing on first-round defensive backs. Going forward, the Raiders should just avoid the position group early in the draft.