Considering that the Las Vegas Raiders gave up their first and second round picks in exchange for Davante Adams, the 2022 draft class for the team was solid. Leaving them with only six draft picks, general manager Dave Ziegler didn’t have a full draft at his disposal. The Raiders have nine draft picks this year, which is a lot given the needs they have across the board. Heads up: due to their anticipated compensatory draft picks, the Raiders may receive up to two extra picks. Additionally, they may get more draft capital pending a Derek Carr trade. But in the meantime, let’s look at how they may make the most of the draft capital they currently have.
Las Vegas Raiders GM Dave Ziegler has nine picks in his arsenal
The Raiders’ first selection in the draft is the seventh overall pick, which is their highest selection since 2019. We all recall what transpired in 2019, when Clelin Ferrell was infamously drafted, so let’s give the new regime a chance. The Raiders really need this pick inside the top 10 to help them bolster their team with a top-tier player. At this position, you might perhaps choose from a cornerback, an edge rusher, or even an offensive tackle. Selecting at number seven enables them to consider trade-down scenarios as well. Ziegler’s options will be endless; let’s just hope he performs well for the team. As most Raiders fans know all too well, the first round hasn’t been kind to this team.
The 38th and 70th picks in the draft are the Raiders’ next two choices. Both selections are fundamental to building a team. Teams sustain success by drafting starters in the second and third rounds. In addition, the Raiders can easily identify some players in these two rounds who can contribute right away in a draft where there is a lot of depth in areas of need for them. However, rounds four through seven, where the Raiders currently have six picks, are just as important. The Raiders have recently taken impact players in the final four rounds of the draft, including Foster Moreau, Maxx Crosby, Nate Hobbs, and Hunter Renfrow. There is unquestionably talent there; the evaluation must be precise and reliable.
Ziegler can immediately overhaul the Raiders’ roster, as he has at least nine picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. And it needn’t be limited to only draft picks; given that he will have a large number of them at his disposal, trades might be viable. Now that you have the chance to cook dinner, Dave Ziegler, I hope you don’t give the Raiders food poisoning.
Sin City will have some inside scoop thanks to Patrick Graham
Patrick Graham, the defensive coordinator for the Raiders, will lead the National Team at the Senior Bowl. Three additional Raider assistant coaches will be on Graham’s staff. The Raiders will have four coaches at the Senior Bowl working with some of the top college prospects. That will allow the Raiders to assess players more thoroughly, which is crucial for evaluating prospects. More significantly, Graham is able to learn more about certain possible defensive players the Raiders might choose as a result. The opportunity is there for Graham and the other Raiders assistant coaches, but will they take advantage of it?
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images