Las Vegas Raiders: 2023 NFL Draft will make-or-break David Ziegler Era
By Brad Weiss
The Las Vegas Raiders hold five picks in the first 109 selections in the 2023 NFL Draft, a draft that will make-or-break David Ziegler.
Last offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders were a team looking to build off a playoff run the season before. With David Ziegler and Josh McDaniels coming to the desert from New England, Raider Nation was excited about the possibilities, especially after adding Davante Adams in a massive trade with Green Bay.
The only issue with that trade was that it stripped Las Vegas of their first and second-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, basically a sign the team was looking to win-now. After a six-win season in 2022, the team is taking a different approach this free agency season, adding quality players without landing on a big name.
For Ziegler, this will be his first time picking before the third round, as Las Vegas did not select in 2022 until they picked Dylan Parham from Memphis with the No. 90 overall selection. Things will be a lot different in 2023, as the Silver and Black hold the No. 7 overall pick, as well as five selections in the first 109.
This is a make-or-break NFL Draft for Ziegler, who must avoid the trappings of his predecessor Mike Mayock, and actually strike gold early on.
Raiders have elite draft capital in 2023
We have seen this before, as the Raiders hold excellent draft capital heading into April, and have to find a way to capitalize. Back in 2019, Mike Mayock and company held three first round picks, and then two more in 2020, but that haul only yielded one long-term player in running back Josh Jacobs.
While Ziegler does not have multiple first round picks, he does have a high first and second rounder, as well as multiple third round selections. By the time Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft ends, we should have a real good look at what the prospects could be for the Silver and Black next season, and whether it is a team that can produce more than a handful of wins.
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In only his second season as general manager, Ziegler should have a longer leash than McDaniels, who has yet to prove he can win on a consistent basis as a head coach in the NFL. We will have to wait a season or two to see if the 2023 Draft class is a good one, and if it is not, it will spell the end of the Ziegler Era earlier than expected.