Raiders NFL Mock Draft

All signs point to CJ Stroud becoming a Las Vegas Raider

The Las Vegas Raiders are in need of a quarterback. Derek Carr is officially going to the New Orleans Saints, and that era is officially over. The 2023 NFL Scouting Combine concluded on March 5, 2023. NFL prospects spent the week showcasing their talents and speaking directly to interested teams. One name has emerged as a possible replacement for Derek Carr: Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud.

NFL Combine Week: How Did C.J. Stroud Do?

Stroud spoke during the media portion of the Combine and mentioned that he met with the Las Vegas Raiders. Stroud mentioned that “[I] got to explain what my offense was, and they asked me about my athleticism, if I could do it at the next level. I told them, ‘Yes, sir.’ Had a great conversation with them.”

The Raiders were the first team to meet with Stroud and head coach Josh McDaniels along with the front office were reportedly in attendance. The Raiders made their interest in Stroud known. Although it could also be due diligence throughout the scouting process. Stroud put on quite the display during the on-field portion of the Combine. Stroud appeared to be extremely smooth in his delivery of the football. Stroud appeared effortless during the passing drills and threw quick, sharp, and accurate passes. Stroud’s performance even caught the eye of one of the top NFL draft analysts, Daniel Jeremiah.

C.J. Stroud: A New Gunslinger Coming To The AFC West?

Josh McDaniels answered a series of questions at the combine about the Raiders future quarterback. McDaniels would not name a specific player but stated, “It’s not one-size-fits-all, but there’s a lot of things you’re looking for if you’re going to commit to them. The goal eventually is to try to have a young player that’s going to be a Raider for a long time.” McDaniels using the word “young player” could indicate the Raiders will be looking to the draft for their starter in 2023.

McDaniels made specific references to the current AFC West quarterbacks as well: “You see the teams that are having success right now in our league, our conference, and specifically in our division? They’re full of young players that were drafted by their clubs, and they’re being developed there under the same continuity.”

McDaniels is speaking specifically about Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. Both pass throwers are playing for the teams that drafted them. Herbert has not reached the same level of success as Mahomes but is still an extremely talented player. McDaniels realizes that the Raiders will need their own dynamic playmaker to compete in the AFC West. C.J. Stroud could be the piece the Raiders are missing in their own division.

Sweeten The Pot…

Besides C.J. Stroud having his first interview with the Raiders, there is another sign indicating a possible relationship. In February, Stroud was asked what current receiver he would like to play with. Stroud would not name a player specifically but mentioned a retired player’s favorite receiver, Chad Ocho Cinco. Stroud stated, “So if you watch Ocho Cinco, whose favorite route-runner is in the league, that’s who I would like to throw to.”

Ocho Cinco is not shy about his admiration for Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams.

It is a great sign that Stroud wants to throw to Davante Adams. While some fans question whether or not Adams wants to play with a rookie hopefully Adams saw Stroud’s performance at the combine. If the Combine performance wasn’t enough to convince Adams hopefully Stroud’s 41 touchdowns in 2022 with a passer rating of 177.7 are sufficient. The only question left that stands is whether or not the Raiders will be in a position to draft Stroud at No. 7.

*Top Photo: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

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