The 2022 NFL Draft is just days away, and there have been several scenarios for the Las Vegas Raiders. Because the team won’t make a decision until the 86th pick, we decided to see what our writing staff thought about the situation. Whom should they draft? Should the Raiders trade up? Let’s take a look.
What should the Raiders do?
Tyler Smith @RaiderDamus
I’d look to add a legit third receiver like Clemson WR Justyn Ross, who is a first-round talent that may slip due to missing last season with an injury. If he’s gone, I’d look to bolster the secondary with a corner like Penn State CB Tariq Castro-Fields, who I feel has the skills and speed to be a dependable pro.
Eric Williams @kxngsymba
I’d want to help on the offensive line with the addition of Chattanooga OG Cole Strange, a true sleeper talent who’ll compete for the right tackle position, which is in dire need. If he’s not there, I would choose South Carolina State CB Decobie Durant, who has untapped potential.
Tyler Hansen @Hansen5581
With reports of Alex Leatherwood being moved back to tackle, right guard suddenly becomes a glaring issue. Interior offensive lineman, Jason Poe of Mercer College, could help mitigate some of the issues. Poe is not perfect by any means, but his athleticism might help speed up his learning curve. He did run a 4.89 40-yard dash at his pro day, after all.
What about the offensive line?
Dalton Blackman @blackman_dalton
The Raiders’ biggest need right now is the right tackle. Luckily, this is a deep offensive line class. The third round should be rife with candidates to supplant Brandon Parker. Max Mitchell of Louisiana would be the perfect fit. He is a true right tackle that moves well and has great technique. At 6’6″ and 297 pounds, he needs to bulk up a bit, but that just raises his ceiling that much higher.
Michael Rueda @wolf2988
If they go offense, which needs help on the line, I see someone likeÂ Cole Strange, a big guard out of Chattanooga, that can help. I believe Jamaree Salyer is also someone to look at it. If they believe the o-line is going to make a jump, then I can go with defense and, if available, either Coby Bryant or Brandon Smith. I think both players could help this season.
Kobe Gelles @kobegelles
The Silver and Black desperately need another tackle. And they should have a good opportunity to snag Nicholas Petit-Frere in the third round. Although raw, Petit-Frere has the look of a good NFL tackle. He just has to put it together and add some muscle. With sound coaching, he could eventually, if not now, be the answer at right tackle.
A classic Raiders pick?
Raina Rutschka @RJRutschka
If Dave Ziegler, Champ Kelly, and Josh McDaniels don’t have a trade already brewing, the Raiders should look to cornerback Tariq Woolen for their first pick. Although he has only played in his current position for two years, Woolen shows great potential and possesses extreme athleticism. Las Vegas hosted Woolen for a Top 30 visit last week, meaning he’d already caught their eye. But, let’s be honest, how could he not? Woolen ran a 40-yard dash in 4.26 seconds at the combine, just .05 seconds slower than the NFL record. If Woolen isn’t taken early in the third round, this is a classic Raiders pick, and I don’t see the new front office shying away from speed.
Should the Raiders eye a cornerback?
Cam Archer @CamArcher
The Raiders certainly need offensive line help, but with the overall youth of their current core in the trenches, they may be better suited to looking for a veteran option in a free agency crop with some solid names still available. While the same could be said for the cornerback position, if Cincinnati’s Coby Bryant is still available come pick 86, Dave Ziegler should pounce. Bryant’s teammate, Sauce Gardner, will rightfully be an early first rounder, but don’t sleep on the skills of his former partner in crime. Bryant could fit nicely as the outside corner of the future for the Silver and Black.
Trade, you say?
Ray Aspuria @RaynMaker82
Trade. If the Raiders get a package to add additional picks in the 2022 draft, Vegas general manager Dave Ziegler should entertain the offer. The prospects are not a top-heavy group, and additional picks will help the Raiders fill out a roster in need of depth. Vegas has a slew of positions with an established starter, but backups are lacking. Ziegler, head coach Josh McDaniels, and assistant general manager Champ Kelly are big proponents of competition, and the more selections, the easier Vegas can achieve that. Pick 86 should get some attention and trade bites.
Jacob Brockhoff @brockhoff55
With the Raiders’ trading away their first and second round picks in the Davante Adams trade earlier this year, their third-round pick is now critical. Which is why they should trade it. As we near draft season, the Raiders only have four picks and there are still several holes in the depth chart. The offensive line, cornerback position, safety position, and linebacker position can all be improved, but it will be difficult to do so with only four picks. If Ziegler gets a good offer and Vegas can trade back a bit to get some more capital overall, it should be seriously considered.
*Top Photo: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports