2023 NFL Draft: Did the Las Vegas Raiders get it right on Day 2?
Pick No. 35
Michael Mayer was the consensus top tight end in this years draft, but was passed up on in the first round by a couple teams who decided to take some of the other top tight end prospects. That was most likely more due to overall scheme fit than any implication on Mayer himself, but nonetheless the Raiders jumped up to get one of the bigger steals in the draft so far.
At 6-4 249 lbs, Mayer has the size to out physical anyone he goes up against. He ran a 4.7 second 40-yard dash at the combine, which isn't the most blazing speed out of his positional class, but Mayer plays faster than his time would indicate. His ability to win at the catch point, be a physical presence in the Red Zone, and push people around in the run game is what makes him the top talent.
Picks No. 70 & 100
With the 70th overall pick, the Raiders selected defensive tackle Byron Young out of Alabama. Young was pretty productive during his time with the Crimson Tide. He was a benefactor of the havoc Will Anderson was able to create play after play. Many will use that as an excuse for why he actually produced in 2022, but Young still very talented in his own right. He plays well with his hands in shedding blocks and doesn't get beat very often at the line of scrimmage.
With the 100th overall pick the Raiders selected wide receiver Tre Tucker out of Cincinnati. He is a smaller sized slot receiver who can be a force in the return game as well. It is somewhat surprising that the Raiders would go wide receiver that early on, especially after bringing in people like DeAndre Carter and Phillip Dorsett in free agency.
It makes you wonder if the Raiders have alternative plans for Hunter Renfrow. Maybe they plan on trading him away after all? It is obviously yet to be seen if that smoke has any fire, but nonetheless the Raiders load up even more on fast, twitchy, and speedy weapons in the pass game.