The Las Vegas Raiders are currently set for the seventh pick in the 2023 NFL draft, but a few changes can make them trade up for a higher pick. The 33rd Team has a projected NFL mock draft in which they believe that if the Raiders are unable to land Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo, they may make a few trades with Arizona to secure the third overall pick. This would then allow the Raiders to be aggressive and fill their need for a quarterback with Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud.
The former Buckeye has great arm strength and throwing ability, but he doesn’t do much running. During his career at Ohio State, he had a 69.3 completion percentage, threw 85 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and ran for 136 yards.
Here’s the aforementioned trade scenario laid out by The 33rd Team’s scouting department.
Las Vegas Receives: 1-3, 3-96, 5-167
Arizona Receives: 1-7, 2-38, 3-70, 4-108
3. Las Vegas Raiders: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State (Projected Trade with Arizona)
When the Raiders are unable to sign Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo, they are forced into an aggressive move to get one of the top three QBs in this class. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Stroud needs to speed up his processing, but he has a lot of NFL traits and an NFL-quality arm.
2023 NFL Mock Draft: C.J. Stroud to the Raiders makes sense according to The 33rd Team
C.J. Stroud won Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in both 2021 and 2022, which shows how much character and grit the 21-year-old QB has. The Raiders must take his mobility into consideration when making this move because if the offensive line isn’t good, then Stroud will more than likely have the same issues that Derek Carr would go through.
Carr wasn’t very mobile after his injury in 2016, but he made a few plays with his feet here and there. In today’s day and age, a lot of the QBs coming out of college have that mobility to them, which allows them to break off and make a play when there isn’t anyone down field.
Standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing 215 pounds, the prospect definitely has the build to play in the NFL, but it’s his ability to adapt to a new league that will prove whether he has what it takes or not. With time in the pocket, Stroud can make some amazing plays with that arm of his, but as mentioned earlier, this would require making sure the line can protect him and give him the time he needs.
This would undoubtedly be one of the more affordable options for the Silver and Black to acquire a quality quarterback with the potential longevity to become one of the franchise’s faces. The 2023 NFL draft will run from April 27 to April 29, so fans will have to wait until Brady, or “Jimmy G” make statements and then see what the organization decides to do.
*Top Photo: NBC Sports/Chicago