It’s going to be a busy offseason for second-year Las Vegas Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler. With Derek Carr’s future up in the air and a bevy of issues with the roster, the 2023 NFL Draft looms large. There are tons of scenarios out there; the most recent by The 33rd Team has the Raiders going an interesting route in a couple of months.
In case you’re wondering, the scouting team for The 33rd Team is made up of former NFL scouts and personnel. In other words, they know what they’re doing. For the Raiders, the publication has them drafting two offensive linemen with their first two selections. That’s far from a “sexy” draft haul. If you talk to many Raiders fans, a large percentage are fixated on a quarterback being drafted early. Whether it’s Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud, Raider Nation wants something different.
At the same time, Jimmy Garoppolo is slated to be the Raiders’ next signal-caller in this mock draft. If that turns out to be true, beefing up the O-line makes sense.
2023 NFL Draft: The Raiders address the trenches?
In the second round, Las Vegas goes with O’Cyrus Torrence from Florida. Listed as an offensive guard, the move for Torrence makes sense if Josh McDaniels is making a move at center. However, Raiders fans are also clamoring for a defensive standout within the first three rounds.
“The Raiders were rumored to get one of two former Patriot quarterbacks this offseason, but Tom Brady retired, so Jimmy Garoppolo lands with the Raiders instead prior to the draft. They use this pick to select an athletic offensive lineman to protect him. Paris Johnson Jr. (scouting report) fits the bill. With this pick, they improve their pass protection and have an offensive tackle for the future.”
As far as the first round goes, Paris Johnson, the offensive tackle from Ohio State, is the pick. Again, it appears Johnson will get the nod depending on what happens with the quarterback situation. Maximizing pass protection for either Garoppolo or, say, Aaron Rodgers becomes a priority. While Thayer Munford has shown instances of solid play, the jury is still out on him. Jermaine Eluemunor also had a solid campaign but shouldn’t be the long-term answer.
*Top Photo: Raiders’ Official Website