5 early contenders to be the Raiders first-round pick in 2024

The Las Vegas Raiders hold the No. 13 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and here are the early contenders to be their selection there.

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3. Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

One name that seems to keep popping up on Raiders mock drafts, and NFL first-round mocks, is Illinois defensive tackle Jer'Zhan Newton. The powerful defensive lineman is strong against both the run and the pass, and for the third season in a row, the Raiders will be looking to bolster this very important position group.

This past season, the Raiders got strong play from several different defensive tackles, including Bilal Nichols, Jerry Tillery, and of course, Adam Butler. Butler played his best football down the stretch, so even though he is entering free agency, I could see the Raiders making him a priority in free agency.

2023 first-round pick Tyree Wilson was also moved inside down the stretch of the 2023 NFL season, and he could be more suited to playing there. Still, even with all of these bodies at the position, Newton may be too good a prospect to pass up in the middle of the first round, as the team looks to bring in more guys to take the pressure off of Maxx Crosby.

Crosby once again put together an elite season in 2023 despite battling through injuries, but the Raiders need to continue to build around him to keep him fresh and productive. Newton is someone who is all over the draft boards as a first-round guy, and could fill an immediate need after the team passed up on Jalen Carter last April.