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2020 NFL mock draft: Oakland Raiders select Justin Herbert

Look out, Derek Carr.

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Pac-12 Championship Game - Oregon v Utah Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders are up in our Pride of Detroit Community Mock. You may remember the Raiders from seven picks ago, when interim general manager Zach Kadolph selected wide receiver Henry Ruggs III with the 12th overall pick.

Oakland may go with the other side of the ball with their second pick in the first round, but unfortunately for Kadolph, since the Raiders’ last pick, all but one have been on defense.

So what will Oakland do with this crucial pick. Let’s hear it from Zach.

“With the 19th pick in the 2020 POD Community Mock Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders select Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. Let the quarterback controversy begin! Errrrr, not really. Since Herbert was the Raiders’ second selection, it should help quiet the controversy.

Looking at the board, there weren’t many sure-fire first round graded players left. With a gaping hole at cornerback and both of my targets off the board—C.J Henderson and Kristian Fulton—it was back to square one. A.J. Epenesa was enticing, but his athletic profile felt like too much risk to take in the teens. Kenneth Murray was enticing except the signings of Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski make this more of a luxury pick. The safeties on the board didn’t have elite enough athletic profiles to warrant a first-round pick for a lower value position. If I am going luxury picks, may as well take the most valuable position in football.

At 19, the value was just too good to pass up, especially with the fifth-year option. Head Coach Jon Gruden prefers veteran quarterbacks, so don’t expect a trade of entrenched starter Derek Carr for at least another year. When you have a coach on a 10-year deal, you have the luxury of playing the long game, but coach Gruden didn’t get back into coaching for the money. Per his interview with Peter King at NBC Sports:

“You try to find something you love and you do the best you can at it. I never got into coaching for the money. I got into coaching because I wanted to be a quarterback coach.”

This pick, just like Ruggs, is all about upside. Justin Herbert is easily the most athletic quarterback in the draft with a Relative Athletic Score of 9.7.

While he didn’t rush much in college, he has the ability as shown by his three rushing TDs in the Rose Bowl. He also does a tremendous job making the right reads with his 4:1 career TD/INT ratio. While he has the traits to succeed, he could use some improvement on his touch in the quick passing game. Per PFF, he was at fault for 15.3 percent of his attempts resulting in an incompletion, which, for comparison, is higher than Joe Burrow (6.3 percent), Jalen Hurts (11.1 percent) and Tua Tagovailoa (12 percent). Having time to sit and learn will do him wonders and just might also light a fire under Carr to take his game to the next level. Jon Gruden got into football to be a quarterback’s coach, and now he has his developmental project.”

Catch up with all the picks from our POD Community Mock here.


Grade the Raiders’ pick

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