The Las Vegas Raiders have major holes on the defense and could look to trade up in the draft inside the top-10 to take a top player in the draft. A few teams the Raiders could trade with are the Cardinals, Titans, and Bears who have two picks in the top-10.
As the Raiders look to find their identity under former interim and now permanent head coach Antonio Pierce, a big part of that puzzle is a quarterback.
Currently, the Raiders have Jimmy Garropolo and Aidan O'Connell for the 2024 season and I expect Jimmy G to be a post 6/1 cut and eating the dead money owed to him. This leaves second-year O'Connell to help lead the team to a possible playoff berth.
O'Connell was solid down the stretch for the Raiders in 2023, and they could run it back with him, but many believe quarterback is the priority on Day 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft.
Raiders must avoid reaching for a QB on Day 1
The Raiders are also notorious for drafting players at higher positions than they should leading to draft busts such as Jonathan Abram and Clelin Ferrell. The Raiders have some holes that need to be filled such as corner, offensive line, and linebacker are the most notable.
If Josh Jacobs leaves in free agency, the Raiders will need to get a running back to fit in the scheme as well, but there is no plan to go with a running back on Day 1. The starting job will likely go to Zamir White, and they can get his backup on Day 3.
This year, the quarterback class is deep, as well as cornerback and offensive line. The most notable quarterbacks are Caleb Williams from USC, Drake Maye from North Carolina, Jayden Daniels from LSU, J.J. McCarthy from Michigan, Michael Penix Jr. from Washington, and Bo Nix from Oregon.
The major issue is the Raiders pick at #13 overall and the top three quarterbacks will probably be off the board by this time. I see Caleb Williams going to the Commanders, Drake Maye going to New England, and Daniels going to the Broncos. This leaves Bo Nix from Oregon and Michael Pennix Jr. from Washington left on the board.
I think the Raiders will attempt to trade up with either the Titans or Giants to get a top three quarterback in the draft. Reaching for a quarterback in this draft like Penix or Nix at No. 13 would be a bad idea and spending too much draft capital to move up would also be a mistake.
New head coach Antonio Pierce will have control over the roster and will be given the keys to success and turn the culture around in the Las Vegas desert. This year the Raiders need to hit on their draft picks and find players who can make immediate impacts on the team. Using a mid-first round pick on a quarterback that is not Williams, Maye, or Daniels would be a major mistake for first-year general manager Tom Telesco and possibly set the franchise back years.