Josh Jacobs Raiders

Another Raiders Top 10 Pick in 2024? Plus Which Absence Hurts More, Chris Jones or Josh Jacobs?

Is it too early to be talking about the 2024 NFL Draft? Well, it depends. For a fan of a team that knows the 2023 season will be tough, the draft is that piece of hope to look forward to. The Las Vegas Raiders are a team looking to make the playoffs; it’s likely the draft isn’t on the fanbases’ mind, although the Josh Jacobs situation certainly is.

Nonetheless, ESPN’s Matt Miller has the Silver and Black drafting in the top-10 again. Miller isn’t buying the media hype train slating the Raiders as a playoff team.

Meanwhile, Josh Jacobs’ standoff with Las Vegas isn’t the only contract dispute ongoing in the AFC West. Chris Jones is at odds with the Kansas City Chiefs over his contract and amid a holdout. Whose absence hurts more? Good Morning Football’s Kyle Brandt provided his take.

There’s much news regarding the Raiders, so let’s get into the latest.

Another top-10 draft pick for the Raiders in 2024?

Miller compiled his ‘way too early’ 2024 mock draft. While it’s easy to simply present who he sees the Silver and Black selecting next year, the draft position also tells where the ESPN analyst sees Las Vegas finishing. Where does Miller see the Raiders picking? At No. 9.

If Las Vegas is again selecting in the the top-10, it means the team failed to make the playoffs. A high draft pick in 2024 that isn’t acquired via trade would be bad news for head coach Josh McDaniels.

Even though the Raiders have flaws, the front office constructed a team to battle for a playoff spot. It’s why the franchise signed Jimmy Garoppolo as the starter rather than tearing everything down and putting their hat into the Caleb Williams sweepstakes.

Now, McDaniels and Co. can still get there by default by way of injuries or underperforming players. This is the NFL, and there are front offices that might not plan for a high draft pick. Still, they can get there due to circumstances out of their control.

OK, Raiders fans; you’ve waited long enough. After selecting Tyree Wilson No. 7 overall in 2023, who does Miller see the team picking? Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry.

Miller’s reasoning for this pick? He’s not convinced of the Silver and Black’s secondary. Last season, Las Vegas tied with the New York Giants for the least interceptions (6) and was second-worst in passes defended (55). McKinstry had 14 pass breakups in 2022 for Alabama; he’ll be an interesting prospect to follow this college football year.

So, Raider Nation, do you agree that the team will again be drafting in the top-10?

Chris Jones or Josh Jacobs? Whose absence hurts more

The AFC West is home to two notable players who aren’t happy with their current contract situation. Raiders fans already know all about the Josh Jacobs saga. The 25-year-old has yet to participate in both training camp and the preseason after not reaching a long-term contract agreement.

Jacobs must now sign the franchise tag or agree to a different one-year deal with the Raiders. The other high-profile contract dispute is Jones, who’s at the heart of the Chiefs defense. Jones has one year left on his current deal and wants to get paid, since, at 29, this could be his last home run contract.

As the season nears, if both players miss contests in the regular season, the question is which team can withstand not having their star player. While most of the Good Morning Football table went with Jones, Brandt went with Jacobs.

“I think it’s Jacobs,” Brandt said on Good Morning Football, Thursday. “It’s an unbelievable thing that the league rushing title winner is not in camp. If this was 25 years ago and it was Terrell Davis was not showing up for Broncos camp, it’s every show, all show. If it was more recently and it was Shaun Alexander is not in Seahawks camp, it’s a massive deal.

“I think that for the Raiders to shock the world this year, I don’t think Jimmy Garoppolo is throwing for 5,000 yards, and they’re going to light it up and beat the Chiefs and the [Los Angeles] Chargers. I think this guy’s going to rush for 1,500 [yards]. They could have somebody fill in for him, sure, but he’ll rush for 900 [yards]. I think he’s special, I really do. I think he’s one of a handful of guys right now who is a really special running back. Maybe the Raiders don’t feel that way, but I think it’s actually Jacobs.”

Garoppolo isn’t going to put the Raiders offense on his back and carry them to a playoff berth. On the other hand, Patrick Mahomes can put the Chiefs on his shoulders and outscore the opposition if needed. The Silver and Black don’t have that luxury.

Meanwhile, Garoppolo succeeds when he can distribute the football to his playmakers, and Jacobs is undoubtedly one of them. Although Zamir White is ready to be the starter if needed, Las Vegas needs all their star players if they want to challenge for a postseason spot.

*Top Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

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