Round 4, 121st Overall: J.R. Reed, S, Georgia
He should not be relied upon as a primary option in coverage. His lack of range and average skills as an athlete would make him a common target of opposing offensive coordinators and quarterbacks.
However, Reed was able to establish himself as an exceptional run-stopper during his time at Georgia. He was at his best when he was allowed to play in a safety/linebacker hybrid role, with an emphasis on playing near the box.
The modern NFL is increasingly occupied by these types of hybrid players. This makes Reed worth a flier in the fourth round.
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Round 5, 159th Overall: Rodrigo Blankenship, K, Georgia
It’s difficult to find legitimate difference-makers at this point in the draft. While the Raiders could utilize this selection to gamble on a player who could provide depth at a skill position or one of the lines, the biggest impact would be made by adding a new franchise kicker.
Now that the Sebastian Janikowski era is officially over, the team has been without a reliable leader for their special teams unit.
Last year’s starter Daniel Carlson hit just 73.1 percent of his field-goal attempts (26th in the league) and scored a meager 91 total points (25th among kickers). It is clear that Las Vegas has one of the worst kicking units in football.
Gauging how a kicker will translate to the NFL is always a difficult task. However, Blankenship’s proven success at Georgia, combined with his overall consistency (he hit 93 percent of his attempts under 40 yards) makes him worth a look at pick No. 159.
Note: If Blankenship is drafted before this selection, Utah State kicker Dominik Eberle is another reasonable option. The team could also look to move down and take him in the next round.
Which players would you like to see the Raiders target in the 2020 NFL Draft?