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ESPN predicting Raiders back in top five, taking QB in 2020 mock draft (yes, they’re already doing those)

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NCAA Football: Oregon at Oregon State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

In case you were blissfully ignorant to this phenomenon, let me be the unwanted messenger for this news — they are already putting together 2020 mock drafts. They started them immediately following the 2019 draft which concluded four days ago. It’s basically a sickness.

The thing about mock drafts coming out this early is, aside from being probably the most inaccurate things on the planet, they do more than just predict what teams will do and where players will go. They predict how each team and some of their players will perform this season. None more so than Todd McShay’s contribution to the tail-chasing world of mock drafts.

I could direct you to his article with a paywall for this info, but since he tweeted out his top five picks, I’ll just post that instead.

Wait, he has the Dolphins pulling a Cardinals and taking a quarterback a season after getting Josh Rosen?? Man, that guy cannot catch a break. Anyway...

First, let’s parse the tweet here. He admits IN ALL CAPS that this mock draft is way too early. He probably is told to do them by ESPN, so it would be unfair to attack him for that. Then he is sure to try and deflect the outrage for the draft order on Football Outsiders. ‘It’s them who are predicting the Raiders will be picking in the top five again (don’t hurt me).’

If Football Outsiders is correct in their prediction of where the Raiders are picking, then that means the Raiders failed and likewise it means Derek Carr failed as well. In that instance it would make the selection of Justin Herbert actually a no-brainer, so you can certainly see the logic here.

For what it’s worth, the fifth overall pick in this draft went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who finished with a 5-11 record. As were the Broncos the year before. So, that’s about what you could figure they think the Raiders will do next year. A one-game improvement.