Bryan Edwards

Raiders Sign Damon Arnette, Wrap Draft Class

The Raiders have wrapped up their 2020 NFL Draft class. Following their reported agreement with first-round wide receiver Henry Ruggs, the Raiders formally announced deals for the rest of the class. Here’s the full rundown, via PFR’s tracker: 

1-12: Henry Ruggs III, WR (Alabama): Signed
1-19: Damon Arnette, CB (Ohio State): Signed
3-80: Lynn Bowden Jr., WR (Kentucky): Signed
3-81: Bryan Edwards, WR (South Carolina): Signed
3-100: Tanner Muse, LB (Clemson): Signed
4-109: John Simpson, OL (Clemson): Signed
4-139: Amik Robertson, CB (Louisiana Tech): Signed

Per the terms of his slot, Arnette will receive a four-year deal worth $13.4MM, including a signing bonus of ~$7.3MM. Beyond that, the Raiders will hold a fifth-year option to keep him under club control through the 2024 season. Arnette wasn’t expected to go in the middle of the first round, but the Raiders aren’t afraid to buck conventional thought.

Arnette took a while to develop and reach Ohio State’s starting lineup, but once he got there, he provided the Buckeyes with a solid partner opposite star Jeff Okudah. With the ability to play on the inside or the outside, the Raiders believe that Arnette has what it takes to make it at the next level. His 4.56 second 40-yard-dash didn’t necessarily impress evaluators, but his ability to jam receivers at the line is a major plus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Rumors: Dolphins, Herbert, Edwards-Helaire, Aiyuk, Shenault

The Dolphins held a predraft video meeting with Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, who reports no NFL team has done as much work on Herbert as the Dolphins. Herbert is fully expected to come off the board in Round 1 of next week’s draft, but it’s unclear if Miami will be comfortable taking him with the fifth overall selection. Per Jackson, the Dolphins’ questions about Herbert are twofold: he’s more of an introvert than an extrovert, and he is occasionally inaccurate.

Miami also conducted a video conference with LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, per Jackson, who indicates the Dolphins could consider Edwards-Helaire with pick Nos. 39 or 56 in the second round. While the Dolphins already signed veteran Jordan Howard this offseaon, Edwards-Helaire, who caught 55 passes in 2019, would add another dimension to Miami’s backfield.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft, which is now only one week away:

  • Speaking of the Dolphins, former NFL executive Gil Brandt says it would not not be a surprise for Miami to take a non-quarterback with the fifth overall pick (Twitter link via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY). While the Dolphins have seemingly spent the past year-plus acquiring draft capital in order to land a quarterback, it’s possible that they could go in a different direction. If Miami opts for another position at No. 5, offensive tackle could speculatively be a target area.
  • A number of prospects– including Arizona State receiver Brandon Aiyuk, Colorado receiver Laviska Shenault, and Cal safety Ashtyn Davis — recently underwent core muscle surgery but have medically cleared, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). All three should be ready for the start of the 2020 regular season. Meanwhile, Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall (ankle) has also been medically cleared, while South Carolina receiver Bryan Edwards (fifth metatarsal) and Utah safety Julian Blackmon (ACL) should be cleared by May and July, respectively.
  • While NFL teams aren’t all that concerned about the upcoming remote draft format, they are potentially worried about the undrafted free agent process, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (video link). The UDFA signing period is often a frenzy as is, and clubs think the virtual nature of the process could make it even more difficult.

Draft Notes: Giants, Wirfs, Morgan, Jets, Bailey, Edwards

There’s been a ton of discussion about the top three picks in the upcoming draft, but the Giants have been flying slightly more under the radar at number four. While we’ve heard that New York loves versatile Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons, the “consensus of sources” that Ralph Vacchiano of SNY spoke to was that the Giants will take an offensive tackle with the fourth pick. Vacchiano adds that they will “quite possibly” take another offensive lineman in the second round. If they did that, it would “likely be a center,” he adds. As for which tackle the Giants will take in what is widely regarded as a strong tackle draft, sources told Vacchiano that Giants GM Dave Gettleman “loves” Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs.

Here’s more from around the league as the draft rapidly approaches:

  • We know all about the top quarterbacks available, but James Morgan is an unheralded name who has been picking up steam lately. We heard last week that the Patriots were sniffing around and that a handful of other teams were interested in the FIU passer as well. Morgan is “pushing to be a mid-rounder” and has been interviewing well, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. Rapoport also notes that Morgan was interviewing with the Jets on Wednesday. Morgan completed only 58 percent of his passes last year with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions, but his numbers were much better the season before. He appears to be one of this draft’s late risers.
  • Former Purdue linebacker Markus Bailey got some good medical news, as Rapoport tweets that he recently had his combine re-check and was cleared by the Cardinals’ team doctor. Bailey tore his ACL for the second time back in September. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report had him as a fifth-rounder in his most recent mock draft, but maybe this news will boost his stock a little bit.
  • Speaking of good medical news, Rapoport tweets that former South Carolina receiver Bryan Edwards also got some. Edwards fractured the fifth metatarsal in his foot just before the combine, but is now out of his boot and “moving around well,” according to Rapsheet. Rapoport adds that teams have been sent updated scans of his foot, and all appears to be well. Miller had Edwards going early in the fourth-round to the Jets in that same mock draft.