Raiders 2023 NFL Draft: Las Vegas trades up for Michael Mayer
By Brad Weiss
The Las Vegas Raiders wasted no time on Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft, trading up with the Indianapolis Colts and drafting Michael Mayer.
The 2023 NFL Draft kicked off night two festivities on Friday, and holding the No. 38 overall pick, the Las Vegas Raiders needed to be ready for anything. It did not take long for the Silver and Black to get involved, as they traded up with the Indianapolis Colts for pick No. 35 overall.
The trade sent pick No. 38, as well as pick No. 141 to the Colts to move up three spots, and with the selection, the Raiders brought in Notre Dame star tight end, Michael Mayer. Mayer was widely considered a first-round pick going into Day 1, but he fell outside of the top-31 selections, making him one of the more sought-after players on Day 2.
Mayer had an outstanding career with the Irish, proving to be one of the better pass-catching tight ends in the country, even as a freshman. In his three seasons with Notre Dame, Mayer showed the ability to not only be a threat in the passing attack, but also a very capable blocker, something head coach Josh McDaniels covets.
Raiders still have two more picks on Day 2
Las Vegas did not sell the farm to go up and get Mayer, as they still hold picks No. 70 and 100 in the third round. Dave Ziegler is proving that he is going to go after the best player available no matter what the position is, and that should set the Raiders up for long-term success.
Mayer will slide in as the TE1 as a rookie, and it should make things interesting for Austin Hooper and OJ Howard, who joined the organization as free agents this offseason. The Raiders raised eyebrows when they traded away Darren Waller this offseason, but they locked up his long-term replacement early on Friday night.