Las Vegas Raiders release both 2020 first-round picks after a single full season


Just a year-and-a-half ago, the Las Vegas Raiders were ecstatic to utilize two picks to add a playmaker on both sides of the ball, as they held two first-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. Over the last couple of weeks, the Las Vegas Raiders have parted ways with both players, leaving fans to wonder what sort of evaluative process the team’s front office utilizes in the first place.

The Raiders made it 0-for-2 in terms of their draft acumen from the 2020 draft’s first round on Monday when they decided to release former Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette outright. The news followed last week’s release of wide receiver Henry Ruggs III after he was charged for driving under the influence and an accident that tragically killed a 23-year-old woman.

The Ruggs incident is certainly no one’s fault on the Raiders. It was a horrible judgement call made by a player who felt he was somehow responsible and sober enough to drive. However he hit a top speed of over 150 miles per hour and ended someone’s life. He faces significant prison time, and no one should be surprised that the Raiders let him go.

This week, however, the Raiders’ decision to part ways with Arnette is something else entirely. Why didn’t they try to trade him before the NFL’s trade deadline just last week? It seems very unlikely that no team was interested in enough in Arnette to at least offer up a swap of late round picks, if nothing else, just one year after the corner was taken in the draft’s first round.

However, there are some serious character concerns at work in this release as well given the latest report from NFL reporter Tom Pelissero.

If this is the case, then fans should be asking the team’s front office several questions about their own evaluative measures. How are they clearing a player’s character? How are they deciding who remains a solid risk while taking others off the draft board? These are important questions because literally their entire top-tier draft haul from a year ago is now gone.