Raiders in Position to Make ‘Shocking Pick’ of a Generational Talent in Draft

dave ziegler

Getty Las Vegas Raiders GM Dave Ziegler.

The Las Vegas Raiders are one of the most difficult teams to get a gauge on heading into the draft. They could go many different ways with the No. 7 pick. The one thing that people have ruled out is the team adding a skill position player.

The Raiders have a great wide receiver trio and the NFL’s leading rusher. They have much bigger needs all over the roster. However, Josh Jacobs is on the franchise tag and might not be around long-term. That led to Brag Gagnon of Bleacher Report floating the idea of the team making a “shocking pick” by drafting Texas running back Bijan Robinson with the N0. 7 pick:

The Las Vegas Raiders are already quite famous (if not infamous) for their draft-night surprises, and they’ve always loved their offensive skill position players. Now, in the No. 7 spot, you have to wonder if they might again break from convention and go with a potential generational talent at a position that rarely sees the first round in this day and age.

Coming off back-to-back monster seasons at Texas, running back Bijan Robinson certainly has the build, speed, elusiveness and resume to become a super-high-impact offensive weapon for years to come, and he can make an immediate difference for a team that likely fancies itself ready to compete with new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Drafting Robinson Isn’t Going to Happen

Robinson is easily the best running back in the draft and will likely have an instant impact in the NFL. He has all of the tools to be a superstar running back. However, there’s a reason he hasn’t been taken in the top 10 picks in most mock drafts. Running backs just aren’t valuable enough to take that high unless a team doesn’t have many other needs.

The Raiders have far too many other needs on the roster and already have arguably the best running back in the NFL on their roster. That’s not to mention the fact that they drafted promising running back Zamir White last year. Drafting a running back would not make any sense for Las Vegas. They need defense and offensive line help. The only way they should stray from that plan of attack is if they believe they can find a quarterback of the future in the first round.

Should Raiders Be Looking for a Jacobs Replacement?

With each passing year, running backs continue to lose value. It’s looking like Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry and Joe Mixon are at risk of not even being able to finish out their contracts with their teams. Right now, it’s bad business to pay a running back big money.

Jacobs is a smart player and is likely aware of the current landscape. If he wants to stay with the Raiders long-term, he’s going to have a accept a reasonable contract. If he’s not, the team may start looking for his replacement. Almost every team that gives a running back a big contract has regretted it within a few years. Running backs are very important to a team but they’re easier to find than most other positions. Keeping Jacobs should be a priority but the Raiders won’t overpay him.

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