The Las Vegas Raiders have enough talent to make a playoff run next season, but also enough question marks to land in the top-10 of the 2024 NFL Draft.
The 2022 NFL season did not go as planned for the Las Vegas Raiders, as the arrivals of Chandler Jones and Davante Adams were supposed to help the franchise build on a playoff appearance from the year before. Instead, the season went from bad to worse early on, and against the New Orleans Saints, the starting offense did not move the ball past midfield.
The issues led to the release of Derek Carr as quarterback, and the arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo, a talented winner at the NFL level, but also one who is consistently bitten by the injury bug. Las Vegas did a great job bolstering the roster at a number of positions, including the defense, where the defensive line and secondary should be much improved from a year ago.
However, the issues still remain, as their are question marks on both sides of the ball, and the team still has an All-Pro running back not under contract. Can the Raiders get the roster set to make a run in 2023, or should we start already looking at the best players coming out in the 2024 NFL Draft?
Raiders 2023 season could be a roller coaster ride
One of the biggest questions for this team entering 2023 will be the quarterback position, as the health of Garoppolo is going to make-or-break the season. When healthy, Garoppolo has proven to be a winner at the NFL level, and with so many weapons at his disposal, would be in for his best season as a pro if he can stay healthy.
There is also the question of the defense, as the Raiders got better along the defensive line and in the secondary on paper this offseason. Problem are still there at linebacker, and the secondary has unproven pieces, but a trio of Maxx Crosby, Chandler Jones, and Tyree Wilson coming off the edge has to be one of the better groups in the league.
The schedule is also a tough one for Las Vegas, as they start off with four must-win AFC games against Denver, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and the Chargers.
In order for the Raiders to challenge for a playoff spot, a lot of good has to happen, including Garoppolo staying healthy, Jacobs actually signing his deal, and the new pieces on defense stepping up. If they can weather a tough early-season schedule, and get off to a better start than they did a year ago, there should be plenty of confidence within a roster looking to change the fortunes of the franchise.