Raiders 2023 NFL Draft: Should Michael Mayer be a target on Day 1?
By Brad Weiss
The Las Vegas Raiders won't use the No. 7 overall pick on a tight end, but what happens if they trade back and Michael Mayer is still available?
This offseason has brought a lot of change within the Las Vegas Raiders organization, as they continue to reshape the roster under second-year general manager, Dave Ziegler. One of the biggest changes came to the tight end position, as Ziegler and his staff traded away star pass-catcher Darren Waller to the New York Giants.
Waller was outstanding during his time with the Raiders, establishing himself as one of the best tight ends in the league. Unfortunately, he was bit by the injury bug too much throughout the last two seasons, and Las Vegas decided it was time to end their relationship with him this offseason.
With Foster Moreau also leaving via free agency, and dealing with a significant health issue as well, the Raiders are very thin at tight end. Sure, they brought back Jesper Horsted this offseason, but more talent is needed, even with the free agent additions of Austin Hooper and OJ Howard.
If it came down to it, would the Raiders draft the best tight end in this class?
Could the Raiders go after Michael Mayer on Day 1?
Notre Dame star Michael Mayer dominated the college football landscape during his time with the Irish, and goes into this year's draft as the unquestioned No. 1 player at his position. Mayer is everything you look for in an NFL tight end, as he has the size, speed, pass-catching ability, and blocking accumen to come in and be one of the best in football right away.
In order for him to put on the Silver and Black next season, Las Vegas would likely have to trade down on Day 1, or possibly even back into the first round later on. Mayer is not seen as a top-10 pick, but should go during the middle of the first round, a place Las Vegas would be if they traded down.
Also, Las Vegas has a plethora of defensive needs, and may not be looking to add a tight end on Day 1, even if Mayer is available. Still, he would fill one of the few voids on the offense in a big way, and after seeing him play in college, he may be one of the more NFL-ready prospects in this year's draft class.
He may not land with the Raiders, but he certainly should be on the team's rad