The question on the minds of Las Vegas Raiders fans relates to the quarterback position. The 2023 NFL Draft is going to provide general manager Dave Ziegler an opportunity to pick up a prospect from a position group that’s caused quite the debate. Unless the Raiders move up via trade, they could miss out on Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud. If that’s the case, the options get interesting. If that scenario plays out, do Ziegler and Co. still draft a signal-caller in the first round?
The problem with a rookie quarterback is that you really don’t know what you’re getting. Let’s face facts here: there’s immense pressure for the Raiders to improve in Year 2 under Josh McDaniels. Case in point: You go with Jimmy Garoppolo, who’s a proven winner and knows the system. The problem is Garoppolo’s durability and the fact that he’s not the long-term answer. If the Raiders plan on having Garoppolo as their starter three or four years from now, they’re in trouble.
Now, back to this year’s draft. According to Raiders beat writer Hondo Carpenter, the Silver and Black are indeed looking at one quarterback in particular. Of course, he wasn’t about to divulge any information that puts Dave Ziegler and his draft weekend plans in jeopardy.
“I know that the Raiders highly value one of the quarterbacks at the top. Which one? It would not be proper for me to say, as I do not want to put the Raiders at a competitive disadvantage.”
What if Will Levis is there at No. 7? Do the Raiders bite?
If you ask most Raiders fans, they’d tell you that the pick at No. 7 should be one of the much-heralded defensive prospects. However, there’s been quarterback buzz surrounding the Raiders, mostly due to the fact that McDaniels would like to develop his own guy. Which, logically, makes sense. Derek Carr wasn’t “his guy,” and we saw how that unfolded. In terms of a scenario where Will Levis is available, fans are not so united on that front.
As far as numbers go, Levis did his job at Kentucky. He threw for 43 touchdowns and 23 interceptions; however, his 65.7 completion percentage is notable. You could also make the argument that Levis did more with less as opposed to other prospects such as Young, Stroud, and Anthony Richardson. Garoppolo is your QB1 barring any setbacks during training camp, but you need to look to the future already as well. If the first round is too high for Levis, another prospect that could be had in the middle rounds is Jake Haener. Yeah, I know, another Fresno State quarterback.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson the mid-to-late rounds of the NFL Draft?
Speaking of the middle rounds and the Pac-12, a quarterback that’s been making waves is UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
The man threw for 39 touchdowns last season while tossing just 10 interceptions. While his overall accuracy is a legitimate concern, “DTR” has the arm strength necessary to be an NFL quarterback. He’s certainly one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in this year’s NFL draft. Of course, he’d be a project for McDaniels as a rookie. DTR’s tendency to escape the pocket rather than stay in there will drive the coach crazy. At the same time, Raiders fans complained for years about Carr’s unwillingness to get out and make something happen on the run. With Thompson-Robinson, they’d see plenty of it, so there’s that.
Look, no one knows what Dave Ziegler has planned with regard to the quarterback. Yes, he has his starter for next season, but other than that, it’s a crapshoot.
*Top Photo: Getty Images
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