The Las Vegas Raiders regular season has ended, and their offseason is officially underway. With their NFL Draft position officially set, the team has many ways to improve the roster. As of this moment, the Silver and Black possess three top-100 selections.
Raiders current pick situation.
3 picks in the top 100. pic.twitter.com/jJOmDJXCyX
— CJ Errickson (@CJE_NFL) January 9, 2023
A few avenues of approaching April’s draft may be non-traditional, but desperate times call for desperate measures for a team completely disrespected by their rival in the season finale. So it’s time to take an early look at various methods of how general manager Dave Ziegler and company can tackle this.
The Raiders’ Most Aggressive Approach
For teams like the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, and Los Angeles Rams, draft picks are valued less. For the Rams, their trade for Matthew Stafford ultimately catapulted them to a Super Bowl victory last season. The most recent example of this aggressive draft and trade strategy is when the Kansas City Chiefs traded up for Patrick Mahomes.
On this date five years ago, the lives of Kansas City Chiefs fans changed forever. In the 2017 NFL draft, KC made the bold move to trade into the top ten and take a chance on some kid from Texas, Patrick Mahomes. pic.twitter.com/yVvW6UYuop
— KMBC (@kmbc) April 27, 2022
For the Raiders, the Chicago Bears will be listening to all offers for the first overall pick. If the team truly believes Bryce Young is their future quarterback, a trade with the Bears is the most expensive option to rectify things. If not them, the Arizona Cardinals will select third after the Houston Texans presumably take their QB of choice. A trade from seven to three is more feasible, but it runs the risk of getting the third choice at quarterback in this prospect class.
The Traditional Approach
The easiest (and maybe safest) way for Mark Davis’s franchise to get back on track is to limit all movement. In years past, the team has traded down in drafts and still managed to be on the wrong side of trade compensation. Although, when the team possessed the fourth overall pick in 2019, many considered it one of the most enormous “reaches” in draft history.
There's no doubt that Clelin Ferrell was the #Raiders "surprise pick" at No. 4 overall.
Mike Mayock openly admitted that they had the same grade on him and Nick Bosa on their draft board. pic.twitter.com/QX2J0gwYqc
— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) May 1, 2019
While it is not Clelin Ferrell’s fault the team’s scouting department whiffed, the fact will always remain that they did. Unfortunately, hindsight is 20/20, and the Raiders’ continual misses are precisely why the roster has excessive needs and lack of depth each year.
The Conservative Approach
This approach is the one that many within Raider Nation are all too familiar with. For example, the team does not love anyone at their seventh overall selection and trades back. The team has depth issues and many glaring holes, but at the same time, taking the best player available isn’t ill-advised. For years, the Baltimore Ravens have been well-known for taking the best player available and have one of the NFL’s best rosters to show for it. If the Ravens strictly traded down and drafted for need every year, they would likely be in a similar boat to the Raiders. The boat of not getting proper compensation for talent or quality picks in return, such as in the 2018 NFL Draft.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 27, 2018
In conclusion, there needs to be a focus on drafting quality players with conviction rather than spraying and praying based on the number of selections.
*Top Photo: Associated Press