Las Vegas Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham (Photo by USA TODAY Sports)

Patrick Graham and Raiders Gain Elite ’23 NFL Draft Opportunity

The Las Vegas Raiders defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham, will be front and center for a significant event in the NFL Draft Process. This morning, Graham was dubbed the head coach for the National Team of the upcoming Reese’s Senior Bowl.

In years past, the Senior Bowl was coached by singular organizations. However, this year, the staffs are being split up so more teams can get their hands on the 2023 NFL Draft’s top prospects. Regardless, for a member of the Raiders to be calling the shots for one side in this new format is a promising and luxurious opportunity.

The Reese’s Senior Bowl Keeps Gaining Steam.

From a high school football all-star game in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1950 – the Senior Bowl has become much longer than that. Like March’s NFL Combine in Indianapolis, executive director Jim Nagy has transformed the event in Mobile, Alabama, into a similar one. One could say that the process is a more practical ‘first look’ at prospects than the Combine – why? Because there are numerous drills, practices, interviews, and simply witnessing how players carry themselves both on and off the field.

In addition, coaching staffs see players in complete equipment, not just in tights like Indianapolis. Some of the NFL’s best have come from the contest, including repeat Hall of Fame Finalist Patrick Willis. The Raiders have also had their fair share of success in acquiring talent from the event, such as acquiring tight end Foster Moreau in 2019.

Patrick Graham has a Golden Opportunity to Address the Defense.

This year, the Silver and Black possess at least 11 total draft picks before additional compensatory picks are potentially awarded. In addition, Las Vegas has three selections within the top 100 of April’s draft. The Raiders will be up front and center to a bevy of defensive talent to be considered in all rounds. It remains to be seen if any other Raider coaches will be in tow to Mobile, but this is a chance for the organization to hit home runs not just in the traditional draft but for undrafted free agents as well. For example, what former head coach Jon Gruden did with fullback Alec Ingold in 2019.

Here is a list of some recent Raiders that have participated in the event in just the past five years:

  • 2022:  IOL – Dylan Parham
  • 2021: S – Tyree Gillespie & OL – Alex Leatherwood
  • 2020: S – Alohi Gilman
  • 2019: WR – Keelan Doss, S – Johnathan Abram, QB – Jarrett Stidham, TE – Foster Moreau, FB – Alec Ingold
  • 2018: P – Johnny Townsend, K – Daniel Carlson
  • 2017: QB – Nathan Peterman, WR – Zay Jones

The event is in just two weeks. This is how and where you can watch it; you can buy tickets on their website if you want to attend in person.

DATE: Saturday, February 4, 2023
TIME: 1:30 pm CT
WHERE: Mobile, Alabama
STADIUM: University of South Alabama, Hancock Whitney Stadium

Don’t Do It Again, Raiders: Go Get yourself A QB Who Can Win With Both His Arm And Legs

*Top Photo: USA Today Sports

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