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Raiders GM Mike Mayock talks pros and cons of taking WR in 1st round

Mike Mayock, Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders need help at wide receiver.

2019 free-agent signing Tyrell Williams helped, but he regressed mightily towards the end of the season after a fiery start with the Raiders. Antonio Brown, well, yea. Hunter Renfrow showed promise, but he’s not a No. 1. In 2019, tight end Darren Waller was the Raiders’ top target.

If the Raiders want to get anywhere in their inaugural season in Las Vegas, adding talent to their wide receiver corps is a must. General manager Mike Mayock knows that.

“We don’t have enough outside speed,” Mayock said in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal at the Senior Bowl.“People started to load up on Josh [Jacobs] and Darren [Waller]. Our offensive line is a big, strong, tough group that we’re happy with. But let’s be honest. If we’re going to take it to another level, that position has to get better.”

The Raiders, who have two first-round picks, are in a good spot to get a No. 1 receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft. Considering the draft pool is touted as elite for wide receiver-needy teams, Mayock has a lot to choose from. He also knows that drafting a receiver in the first-round is hit-or-miss.

“It’s early, but I certainly think there’s a lot of wideouts in this draft,” Mayock said. “It’s a deep wide receiver draft. Now, you have to be careful, especially the higher you go. Do yourself a favor and go look at (the history of the draft) and look at first-round wide receivers over the last 10 years. It’s sobering. And I think there’s some reasons why college wide receivers can struggle coming into the NFL. So I think you have to be careful. Everybody thinks if you draft a wide receiver in the first round it’s immediate production. It doesn’t necessarily mean that. Take a look at the numbers. So I think you have to be aware of what you’re facing and I think you have to be smart with what you’re doing.”

The last time the Raiders took a receiver in the first round, it was Amari Cooper at No. 4 overall in 2015. Cooper is also the most recent first-round receiver to make the Pro Bowl, an alarming statistic. Considering that he’s now in Dallas playing for the Cowboys, he didn’t work out particularly well for the black and silver.

Luckily, Mayock can avoid the first-round altogether. With an abundance of talent available, he may be able to find an elite option after the first 32 picks.