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Raiders’ 2020 Draft Class Was A Complete Disaster

  • The Draft Network
  • November 8, 2021
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The Las Vegas Raiders were shockingly upset by the lowly New York Giants on Sunday. The Raiders failed to capitalize on an excellent opportunity to further distance themselves from the pack in the ultra-competitive and wildly unpredictable AFC West.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, Sunday's disappointing defeat was far from the worst thing that has occurred to the franchise in recent weeks. On Monday, general manager Mike Mayock announced the Raiders were releasing sophomore first-round pick Damon Arnette following the release of a social media video where Arnette made unacceptable and concerning threats about another human being's life.

Arnette's release is the second incident to involve a high-end member of the Raiders' 2020 draft class just days apart, following wide receiver Henry Ruggs’ involvement in a DUI accident which resulted in a tragic, unnecessary, and devastating loss of life.

The separate incidents have now resulted in the Raiders' organization cutting ties with not one, but both of their first-round picks just 18 months into their professional careers. Arnette, who was failing to live up to his draft billing even prior to his concerning off-field behavior, will now look to land elsewhere despite the obvious behavioral and character concerns.

Mayock, who has strenuously preached "leadership" since taking the reins in Las Vegas, has particularly ended up with egg on his face.

"We did an awful lot of homework on Damon Arnette, both on and off the field," Mayock said in April of 2020. We did our homework. I took a school visit there. We had four cross-checks there. We don't think we reached on Damon Arnette."

When analyzing the Raiders' 2020 draft class in-depth, things don't get better from there, and it's difficult to recall a worse overall draft class than the one Mayock amassed less than two years ago. Beyond the Ruggs and Arnette disasters lies more failure in abundance. Mayock used the first of three third-round picks on swiss-army knife Lynn Bowden, who was shockingly traded before playing his first regular-season game in Vegas. Mayock used the very next selection on wide receiver Bryan Edwards out of South Carolina, a player that appears to be the lone redeeming member of an otherwise terrible class. Later in the same round, Mayock reached on linebacker-safety hybrid in Tanner Muse, who was promptly released before he played a single snap in a Raiders uniform. Muse is now a member of Seattle's practice squad.

From there, Mayock could have made up for his grave errors by selecting a pair of contributors in the fourth round. Instead, he selected guard John Simpson and cornerback Amik Robertson. Simpson has been well below average in his opportunities at left guard and Robertson has failed to crack a rather pedestrian cornerback rotation, having to settle for a deep reserve role instead.

We typically allow at least three full seasons to go by before judging an overall draft class. In fact, this often serves as a rule of thumb in the footballing world. Unfortunately for Mayock and the Raiders, the time has already come to judge their 2020 class—and it's a full-blown disaster in the worst way imaginable.

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