NFL Draft: 9 Best Remaining Players Raiders Should Target On Day 2, Including Will Levis

NFL Draft: 9 Remaining Players Raiders Should Target On Day 2

The opening day of the 2023 NFL Draft is in the books, and defensive lineman Tyree Wilson is the newest addition to the Las Vegas Raiders. At No. 7 overall, general manager Dave Ziegler opted to add the powerful, versatile pass rusher out of Texas Tech.

Raiders Add Defensive Firepower At No. 7 Overall With Tyree Wilson

With Wilson in tow, the Raiders must continue overhauling the defense as the draft continues. Cornerback, linebacker, and safety could use more talent and competition on the depth chart. An interior defensive lineman is also in play as Vegas looks to improve its abysmal run defense.

On the other side of the ball, the wide receiver position features several impact players on the roster, and Jimmy Garoppolo will most likely be throwing them the ball in 2023. Josh Jacobs was franchise-tagged, meaning he will be back for another season at minimum. Tight end and offensive line should be on the radar for Day 2 and Day 3.

Kolton Miller and Jermaine Eluemunor provide a solid bookend for the offensive line, but the interior is full of question marks. Andre James is not a starting-caliber player in the NFL, and the same is true of Alex Bars. Dylan Parham flashed as a rookie, but he must get stronger to avoid being overwhelmed by bigger bodies on the defensive line.

NFL Draft: 9 Best Remaining Players Raiders Should Target On Day 2

Now let’s look at the best-remaining players that the Raiders can target on Day 2. Some surprising names fell out of the first round, and Vegas is in a prime position to take advantage of it.

3 NFL Draft Options At No. 38 Overall For Vegas

•Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

It was a foregone conclusion that Will Levis would go on the first day of the 2023 NFL Draft, with the Kentucky signal-caller becoming the favorite to go No. 2 overall earlier this week. Instead, Levis suffered an uncomfortable fate, looking understandably upset in the Green Room.

While I am surprised Levis fell into round two, the soon-to-be 24-year-old gunslinger ranked No. 38 overall on my Big Board, finishing with a second-round grade. Ironically enough, Vegas sits at No. 38 in the draft order with Levis firmly in reach.

If head coach Josh McDaniels sees a long-term option that can develop behind Garoppolo for a season or two, it is a move worth making at this stage of the draft. Even if it requires a minimal trade up the board. Levis’ arm talent is legit, and when healthy, he is incredibly mobile, giving McDaniels a potential difference-maker down the line.

•Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Joey Porter Jr. still being available is one of the most surprising things about Day 1. Sure, Porter can be grabby in coverage and lacks the ball production teams would like to see from a first-round cornerback, but those are correctable issues with proper NFL coaching.

Porter is a fluid mover who thrives in one-on-one situations and displays the instincts to be a high-end option for defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. The Penn State standout boasts NFL bloodlines and professionalism that is unrivaled by most of his peers. He would bring a tone-setter mentality to the secondary at No. 38.

•Brian Branch, DB, Alabama

The best safety in the 2023 NFL Draft remains on the board and presents an intriguing option if available. Brian Branch logged snaps mostly in the slot at Alabama, but he has the chops to play anywhere in the secondary.

The hard-hitting defensive back sticks with tight ends in the slot and shows adequate range to hold up deep as a centerfielder. With the Raiders, he can slot in as a box safety and immediately boost the run support while adding high-upside in coverage.

3 NFL Draft Options For Raiders At No. 70 Overall

•Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina

Another cornerback makes the list, but this time as a target at No. 70 overall. Darius Rush flexes the ideal size for a boundary cornerback and is a technician in zone coverage. The South Carolina defender has work to do in man coverage, needing to eliminate his receiver tendencies from his past as a pass catcher. The Raiders could rely on Rush as a rookie.

•Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee

Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker is an older prospect (25) still recovering from an untimely ACL tear last college football season. This injury likely is the culprit for Hooker’s drop down the board, but the tumble will end on Day 2.

Should the Raiders take a chance? At No. 38, it is still too rich for my liking, but if available at No. 70, the idea of Hooker redshirting as a rookie and learning from Garoppolo is appealing. The Vols signal-caller boasts impressive accuracy, nice mobility, and droves of experience behind center.

•Chandler Zavala, OL, NC State

The offensive line needs a player with the skillset of Chandler Zavala. The NC State star is a bully in the run game, regularly dominating his assignment and burying them into the turf with minimal effort. In pass protection, Zavala displays the most reliable anchor in the draft, and his grip strength is otherworldly. He is a worthwhile addition at No. 70 or potentially even No. 100.

3 NFL Draft Options For Vegas At No. 100 Overall

•Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion

Tight end is a position the Raiders don’t necessarily have to address in the first two days of the 2023 NFL Draft, but Old Dominion’s Zack Kuntz is someone the front office will kick the tires on. Kuntz is a towering 6-foot-7 and owns a slim build with 4.5 speed. He needs refinement as a blocker and route runner, but not many Day 2 prospects possess the upside of Kuntz.

•Zacch Pickens, DT, South Carolina

Drafting Tyree Wilson is a solid start to fixing the run defense. South Carolina’s Zacch Pickens would slot in as a starter in year one by using his trademark power and explosiveness off the snap to stuff gaps and occasionally collapse the pocket from the inside. The Raiders lack a player with Pickens’ ability, so he’s an easy choice if available at No. 100.

•Olusegun Oluwatimi, C, Michigan

The final entry in this list is a physically-imposing center out of Michigan, Olusegun Oluwatimi. The former Wolverine can get sloppy with his balance and overall technique as a run blocker, but his power typically makes up for it. As a pass blocker, Oluwatimi shines. He allowed zero sacks in 410 pass-blocking snaps in 2022. At No. 100, the Raiders can replace the underperforming Andre James.

*Top Photo: Matt Stone/Louisville Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Join The Ramble Email List

error: Nice Try!
Subscribe to RaiderRamble

Get updates from RaiderRamble via email:

Join 6,230 other subscribers