Raider Nation welcomed a new player to the Silver and Black last night, as Dave Ziegler selected Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson with the seventh-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. By grabbing Wilson, the Raiders add a high-end talent to the defensive side of the ball, opposite of All-Pro Maxx Crosby.
Entering the second round, there’s still multiple high(er)-end defensive players left on the board. In fact, there’s even a couple quality offensive players available. The Raiders still have multiple needs – on both sides of the ball – and can patch another hole or two in the upcoming rounds.
Here’s our Big-Board as teams prepare to start round-two of the draft. Bear in mind, this board is specifically catered to Dave Ziegler and the Las Vegas Raiders.
Big-Board for Dave Ziegler, Las Vegas Raiders in second-round of 2023 NFL Draft
1 – Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
Porter Jr. excels in press, where he’s physical and plays with unmatched swagger. By adding Ya-Sin and Anthony Averett in 2022, two physical cornerbacks who excel in press coverage, the Raiders proved they desire a player of Porter’s skillset.
2 – Brian Branch, S, Alabama
With the addition of Marcus Epps, Branch isn’t the biggest need. Still, an incredibly versatile safety who led Alabama’s defense screams Patrick Graham. Branch, working as a utility safety, paired with Moehrig, working as a deep-safety, could make a strong duo up-top for a decade.
3 – Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
There’s multiple needs on the Raiders’ roster, but none stand out more than the linebacker position. Combined, the four linebackers on the roster have started 36 contests, with none starting more than eight games in one season. Get your star linebacker here – one that can start for 10+ years.
4 – Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
The Raiders signed both Austin Hooper and O.J. Howard this offseason, but neither of the two are long-term answers. With a freakish combination of size and athleticism, Washington can be a staple in any offense league-wide for a number of years. Not to mention, the 21-year-old blocks like an offensive lineman.
5 – Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
Joey Porter Jr. makes more sense for the Raiders, but Cam Smith is a close second. Smith is another physical corner who would likely lock a starting job on the outside this year. In 2021, Cam Smith allowed a passer rating of 36.5 – that’s lower than if a quarterback threw the ball into the dirt on every throw.
With two third-round picks, Ziegler could trade back into the second and grab another player on the Big-Board.
6 – O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida
I know, Raider Nation; you hate using a pick this early on the offensive line. Here’s the scoop – both tackles played well in Las Vegas this past season. The guard duo, however, did not. Torrence is the best guard in the draft, and would immediately boost an offensive line for years to come.
7 – Daiyan Henley, LB, Washington State
Let’s go back to the eyesore linebacker room. Dave Ziegler added Robert Spillane this offseason, but he’s not a coverage linebacker. Henley, on the other hand, is the best coverage-linebacker in the class. Grab Henley, and make your linebacker room serviceable; it’s that simple.
8 – Steve Avila, OL, TCU
Again – we hate using a pick this early on the offensive line, but Avila can do it all. See how I marked his position as “OL”? That wasn’t a mistake; Avila can play anywhere you need him to, although he’ll likely have the most success at guard or center, which Raiders need most.
9 – Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Darnell Washington is the tight end of Josh McDaniels’ dreams. Michael Mayer isn’t far off. There’s an argument to be made for placing Mayer higher, but tight end isn’t as big of a need as other positions. Washington landed so high despite this due to his fit with the team.
10 – Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
With the seventh-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders select.. not Will Levis. However, they also have the 38th pick in the draft. Is Ziegler planning to grab a quarterback of the future there?
Names such as Kelee Ringo, Tyrique Stevenson, Dawand Jones and Drew Sanders also stand out as fits with the Raiders. Quarterback Hendon Hooker remains available as well.
*Top photo: Scott Taetsch, Getty Images
NFL Draft: 9 Remaining Players Raiders Should Target On Day 2