Las Vegas Raiders 2022 3-round Mock Draft: Addressing the defense

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DENVER, COLORADO – NOVEMBER 20: Davante Adams #17 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates with Derek Carr #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders after completing a pass for a touchdown during an NFL game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on November 20, 2022, in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

Don’t let Sunday’s Week 11 victory fool you; the Las Vegas Raiders still have a lot of work to do next April.

The Raiders stopped the bleeding, defeating the lowly Denver Broncos on the road. After a brutal week in terms of media coverage, Josh McDaniels’ squad made the big plays when it mattered. Josh Jacobs regained his momentum, exceeding the 100-yard mark in rushing yards.

And of course, Davante Adams dominated Patrick Surtain II en route to some big catches, including the game-winner in overtime.

Despite the final score, the Raiders’ defense contended with an underwhelming Broncos offense that saw its head coach give up play-calling duties this past week. Russell Wilson, despite a solid effort, still hasn’t regained his old form and made a litany of costly mistakes down the line. However, a win is a win, and Raider Nation should rejoice.

Looking ahead, the team’s win in Week 11 affected its draft position. The Raiders went from selecting second overall to fourth. Despite all the recent quarterback chatter, the trending belief is that Derek Carr will indeed be back next season.

If general manager Dave Ziegler can build around Carr with a good defense above all else, the playoffs in 2023 would be attainable.

Also, if the team picks outside of the top three, maybe the top five, it puts them out of range for C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young, in theory. Well, naturally, then, logically speaking, Ziegler should opt for defense. Remember, he gave up his first and second-round picks in the NFL draft for Adams. No one’s going to fault him for executing that move; it gave the Raiders their best offensive weapon (sorry Josh Jacobs), arguably.

Unfortunately, the defense is still a long way from being competent, so it begs that the Raiders lean that way.

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