Following their Week 12 win, the Las Vegas Raiders are now trending to pick outside the top 10 at the NFL Draft.
First things first, don’t look now, but the Silver and Black are getting on a roll. With back-to-back overtime victories, the Las Vegas Raiders are keeping their 2022 season alive. If this team is still clinging to clinching a playoff berth, they cannot afford any more losses. So far, so good.
A couple of weeks ago, it appeared that the sky was falling as the team found itself amid a three-game losing streak. Many fans were calling for head coach Josh McDaniels to be fired amid all of the losing.
However, give credit where credit is due: McDaniels has this team believing in itself after stringing together some emotional wins. The caveat with winning is that it hurts your draft position. Of course, that in itself is subjective.
Some fans want wins; they could care less about which draft pick the Raiders will have next April. It’s a fair stance, but concurrently, it will hurt Dave Ziegler’s ability to select an “elite” or “can’t-miss” prospect. The NFL Draft is a crapshoot no matter how you spin it, but the Raiders, as of Sunday’s win, are now picking No. 10 overall. It’s not at all bad.
At the same time, it puts the top quarterback prospects (C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young) out of reach. It also means that Will Anderson Jr., Myles Murphy, Kelee Ringo, and more than likely, Jalen Carter, will be off the board, presumably.
Regardless, building around Maxx Crosby should still be a priority next off-season. Looking at the numbers, it’s obvious that Derek Carr is getting more and more comfortable under McDaniels. The connection between No. 4 and Davante Adams is incredible, and it’s only getting better as the season progresses.
The fact is, if the team keeps winning, drafting a quarterback early becomes a lesser possibility. Give this team a formidable defense, even an average one, and it gets into the postseason. Well, that and not blowing leads will get you there.
So, getting a couple of great defenders can help build a long-term foundation while making the most of the talent already there, namely Crosby.