Raiders 2020 NFL Draft grades: Bryan Edwards what offense was missing

Josh Schrock
NBC Sports BayArea

The Raiders waited all Friday to make their third-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.

They didn't try to move up despite a number of talented prospects falling into the third round. They stood pat and took Kentucky athlete Lynn Bowden at No. 80, and followed it up with South Carolina wide receiver Bryan Edwards at No. 81, completing the Khalil Mack trade with the selection.

Adding Edwards, who's 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, gives the Raiders a tough, big-body receiver who can be an immediate threat as a red-zone weapon. Edwards is best suited to fill a "big slot" role in the NFL. He has great hands, and made perhaps the catch of the year last season.

There are questions about Edwards' ability to separate from NFL corners. He has good explosiveness and long speed. Immediately, he should be a guy who can be effective with schemed touches, and can be a good complementary receiver down the road.

With Oklahoma defensive tackle Neville Gallimore still on the board and Henry Ruggs already added to the stable of wide receiver, selecting Edwards at 81 when he could have been available at 91.

The Raiders chose not to trade down Thursday and let a number of quality players slip through their fingers. They then chose to use back-to-back picks on offensive weapons when a game-changer such as Gallimore was on the board. The entire process has been odd, but in a vacuum, Edwards is a great fit for the Raiders and fills a position of need.

Notre Dame's Chase Claypool was a darling of the draft at 6-foot-4 with a 4.42-second 40. He went in the second round to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Edwards can fill a similar, versatile role as Claypool. He can be a presence outside and also be a chain-mover in the slot.

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Still, the Raiders entered the draft with a clear need at wide receiver and added a physical, strong, big-body receiver to complement Ruggs' blazing speed.

All in all, they got a receiver who probably would have gone earlier had it not been for an inability for teams to have their doctors examine the foot injury he suffered last season. Passing on Gallimore aside, this is a great addition.

Grade: B-plus

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Raiders 2020 NFL Draft grades: Bryan Edwards what offense was missing originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area


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