The Las Vegas Raiders are in a good but not great spot in the 2023 NFL Draft with the 7th overall pick. It should be noted that the team has yet to officially move on from Derek Carr. But when that day comes, they’ll need to figure out a permanent solution for the vacant quarterback position. One possible solution is that the Raiders make a trade offer that the Chicago Bears cannot refuse. The Bears hold the first overall pick in the draft and supposedly are sticking with their current quarterback, Justin Fields. As the mock drafts continue to pour in across social media, the general consensus is that Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is going first.
So, what does this mean for the Silver and Black?
Yes, Bryce Young is that good, folks.
Why should the Raiders swing for the fences and go with Young? Why not Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud or Kentucky’s Will Levis? Both are projected to be starters in the NFL. The fact of the matter is that not only does Young have the highest floor, but he also has the highest ceiling. Young has all of the physical traits (except maybe size) and all of the intangibles that make him the best player in the draft.
What are the “experts” saying about Young?
The AFC West already has two outstanding quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. The Raiders will have to contend with both of them for the next ten years. Those two quarterbacks are not going anywhere. The Raiders need to have their own quarterback that can match up with them. Young has been heralded as a generational talent. This claim did not come from just anyone but from ESPN’s NFL draft guru, Mel Kiper. Kiper’s counterpart, ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay, presented his own opinion on Young.
“He is the Steph Curry of college football and will be in the NFL.”
Young is an excellent leader, is reliable, and has a cannon for an arm. Young’s ability to escape pressure and creatively extend plays has drawn comparisons to Mahomes.
If 31 other teams could have drafted Patrick Mahomes in 2017, they would have, without a doubt.
Should the Raiders follow in the footsteps of the Rams?
If the Raiders have that opportunity to do so, then they could mirror the Los Angeles Rams’ move in 2016 from the 15th overall pick to the 1st overall pick. The Rams sent their first-round pick, two second-round picks, a third-round pick, a 2017 first-round pick, and a 2017 third-round pick to the Titans. The Titans provided the Rams with the No. 1 overall pick, a fourth-round pick, and a sixth-round pick.
The Rams ended up selecting Jared Goff with the first overall pick, which worked out for a while. Eventually, Goff was jettisoned from the Detroit Lions in exchange for quarterback Matthew Stafford. A popular argument against a move of this magnitude is that the Raiders need some of those picks. That’s especially true given the need to fix the ailing defense. That is a position of need, but the Raiders will have a glaring hole at quarterback if they move on from Carr. Bryce Young’s upside is significant enough that the benefits in this scenario far outweigh the risk.
If the Raiders want to be competitive in the AFC West, they need to make significant personnel moves. However, if there is a quarterback available who could be just as good as Patrick Mahomes or better, it is imperative that the Raiders make a move.
*Top Photo: The Associated Press