Taking a look at what could be in terms of the 2023 NFL Draft for the Las Vegas Raiders based on their Week 18 outcome.
No one expected at the beginning of the year the Raiders would be in the position to have a top-10 pick in the NFL Draft, yet as we go into the final game of the season against the division rival Kansas City Chiefs that is exactly where they sit. The season expectations were the cause of so much heartbreak even though there were a lot of good things to be happy about in regard to how some individuals played and what can be in the future.
The one surprising thing about the future though is that it is almost certainly going to go forward without nine-year starter Derek Carr at the quarterback position. After the Raiders benched him in order to protect their out clause in his contract, backup Jarrett Stidham got the start against the 49ers and shined, only proving that in order for this system and team to take the next step they needed to move on from Derek Carr.
If there weren’t already plenty of needs on the defensive side and on the offensive line to address via the draft, we now have the possibility that the quarterback position will move its way up the list of importance. That all depends of course on where the Raiders actually sit come draft day and whether they decide to address it via free agency instead.
This last week of the NFL season will finalize how the top-20 draft spots will pan out. There is a lot of muddling at the top in the first 15 and a lot of things can change by the time Tuesday morning comes around. ESPN still has yet to reply to my tweet suggesting we have a draft order machine to predict the final outcome, just like they have a playoff machine.
So, until that is something that we have the luxury of using, I’m going to give you the best and worst-case scenario for the Raiders on draft day depending on whether they win or lose against the Chiefs in Week 18.