The Las Vegas Raiders hold the No. 7 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but if Houston passes on a quarterback, will they attempt to move up to No. 3?
For the Las Vegas Raiders, the 2023 NFL Draft should be an exciting one, as they hold multiple early picks after not selecting until the third round last year. General manager Dave Ziegler has a lot on his plate this draft season, including the No. 7 overall pick, a draft spot that has the media experts confused as to what player could land in the Silver and Black.
For the most part, mock drafts have the Raiders staying put at No. 7, and possibly adding a talented player to the defensive side of the ball. Las Vegas has struggled on defense seemingly forever, and with issues on all three levels, they can easily bring in an impact player in the top-10 to help change their fortunes.
However, some mock drafts, like the one put out by Tommy Garrett from Pro Football Network, have Las Vegas trading up to the No. 3 overall pick. In that scenario, the Houston Texans have passed on a quarterback, drafting the best player in the draft in Will Anderson Jr. from Alabama, leaving CJ Stroud there for the taking.
But will Houston really pass on a potential franchise quarterback?
This would be the only scenario for the Raiders to trade up in
Despite all the recent reports about Stroud, reports that have seemingly damaged his draft stock, the truth is, he has everything you look for in a potential franchise quarterback at the next level. He has the arm strength, mobility, and field awareness to come in and be an impact player at the position, and he would be in an excellent situation in Las Vegas.
Current starter Jimmy Garoppolo has an excellent reputation of helping mentor young quarterbacks, and Stroud would not have to step in and start right away. This gives him the opportunity to join the franchise and develop at his own pace, eventually taking over for Jimmy G in the next season or so.
In order for this scenario to play out, Houston would have to pass on Stroud, and with no real franchise quarterback on the roster, that may seem like a longshot. Sure, DeMeco Ryans is a defensive-minded coach, and Anderson is an elite talent, but this is a quarterback league, and Stroud could be a long-term solution for Ryan and the Texans at the position.