Raiders NFL Mock Draft: Post Derek Carr

Raiders 3-Round NFL Mock Draft: Post-Derek Carr Trade Scenario

The Las Vegas Raiders have a lot of work to do in the 2023 offseason in order to be the competitive squad we all expected them to be last year. Luckily, they have plenty of cap room and nine draft picks with which to add to their team. Currently, they hold their own picks in the first five rounds plus Atlanta’s fifth rounder (thanks to the Bryan Edwards trade) and Dallas’ sixth rounder (thanks to the Johnathan Hankins trade). In addition, the Raiders own New England’s seventh-round pick (acquired in the trade for Jarrett Stidham) and Arizona’s seventh-round selection (Trayvon Mullen trade). One more thing that could put more bullets in the Raiders’ clip, is a potential Derek Carr trade.

Let’s presume that Carr is traded to Carolina. They recently hired new head coach Frank Reich, who tried to get the Colts to acquire Carr more than once when Reich was head coach there. The Panthers nearly won the NFC South with Sam Darnold at quarterback plus some combination of Baker Mayfield and P.J. Walker, so it’s a good bet that they would have actually won their division with a quarterback of Carr’s caliber.

Since Carr has several suitors (including basically every team in the NFC South), the price for his services in a trade would be higher than usual. The Panthers are in a tremendous position to make that trade because they received several picks from the 49ers in the Christian McCaffrey trade. They own San Francisco’s second, third, and fourth round picks in 2023. In a potential trade for Derek Carr, expect the Raiders to acquire at least second and fourth rounders and possibly a future pick as well.

Here’s a Raiders’ three-round mock draft with that Derek Carr trade in mind.

Raiders NFL Mock Draft – Round 1, Pick 7: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

Depending on what the Raiders do at quarterback in the free agency period, this pick could go several different ways. If they sign a veteran like Tom Brady, they could trade out of this spot if some other team wants to move up to get Will Levis or Anthony Richardson. One way or the other, however, the new Raiders QB will need better protection. Skoronski is the best offensive tackle in the draft, and the Raiders have never had a true bookend tackle across from Kolton Miller.

Raiders NFL Mock Draft – Round 2, Pick 38: Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon

For far too long, the Raiders have neglected the linebacker position to their extreme detriment. Noah Sewell was a terror at middle linebacker for the Ducks and has the same drive and killer instinct that his brother, Lions right tackle Penei Sewell, has in spades. Sewell is fast, tough, and big at 6’2″ and 253 pounds. He is a sure tackler and can cover reasonably well for the position. A linebacker group of Sewell, Divine Deablo, and Denzel Perryman would be one of the better units in the NFL.

Raiders NFL Mock Draft – Round 2, Pick 60: Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan

In this scenario, pick No. 60 is the first draft pick to change guardianship from the 49ers to the Panthers and then to the Raiders. Las Vegas drafted two defensive tackles last year in Neil Farrell Jr. and Matthew Butler, but neither made a big impact. The Raiders still lack star power at defensive tackle, which limits their pass rush, so Mazi Smith makes a lot of sense here. Smith is 6’3″ and 337 pounds and was one of the anchors of an impressive Michigan defense last year. He has the versatility to play inside or outside but is at his best as a 3-technique lineman. He can shed blockers effectively, but he needs to work on his pass rush moves. Smith is a freak athlete and serves as a high-motor gap stuffer.

Raiders NFL Mock Draft – Round 3, Pick 70: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

Las Vegas is extremely thin at the cornerback position, and Emmanuel Forbes is a big corner at 6’1″ and 180 pounds. His lack of truly elite speed will probably knock him out of first-round consideration, but he is fast enough to keep up with most wideouts and has fluid hips that allow him to change direction quickly. He is skilled in both man and zone coverage and isn’t afraid to come down and stop the run. Forbes has a nearly 40-inch vertical leap, which is elite for a cornerback.

*Top Photo: Mark Alberti/Icon Sports Wire

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