2023 NFL Draft: Cornerback may be the Las Vegas Raiders best bet on Day 1

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Las Vegas Raiders have plenty of holes to fix this offseason, but on Day 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft, cornerback may be their best bet to target.

The Las Vegas Raiders did not hold a first-round pick in 2022, as they traded away both that selection and their second-round pick to the Green Bay Packers for Davante Adams. In his first season as general manager, David Ziegler had to wait until Day 2 to pick, but that won’t be the case for him in Year 2.

Ziegler holds the No. 7 overall pick, just outside of where they could get one of the elite quarterbacks in this class, but right where he needs to be to fix some crucial holes on this roster. Looking around at the many mock drafts, Ziegler could go a number of different routes with this selection, including trading up, or down when all is said and done.

Whatever he decides, one position group could be improved immediately no matter where he picks in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft. That position is cornerback, which may be the team’s best bet to get a can’t-miss prospect on Day 1.

Raiders revamping the defensive side of the ball

If Las Vegas remains at No. 7 overall, they would be in the market for some of the elite cornerbacks in this class, like Joey Porter Jr., Devon Witherspoon, or even Christian Gonzalez. Moving back in round one could still net them players like Kelee Ringo, Cam Smith, or Clark Phillips III.

All six of those players instantly upgrade the Raiders’ cornerback room, as all would be considered Day 1 starters on this defense. On the other side of the coin, the offensive tackle position is not as strong as it has been most years, and I do not see how they trade away assets to move up to select one of the top-2 quarterbacks in this class, either.

Of course, there are some excellent Day 2 cornerbacks that Ziegler could target, and we went through four of them in a recent piece. Whether it is on Day 1, or early on Day 2, cornerback has to be addressed, especially in a division where you face Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert, and Patrick Mahomes six times a year.