The Las Vegas Raiders hold the No. 13 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, which will be their first with Tom Telesco as their general manager. Las Vegas landed Telesco on Tuesday, pairing him with new head coach Antonio Pierce in hopes of pushing the Raiders into being perennial playoff contenders in the AFC.
Going into this offseason, Las Vegas has some solid talent on the roster, including possible future Hall of Famers in Maxx Crosby and Davante Adams. They also have solid depth and other key pieces returning in 2024, so they are definitely a team on the rise right now.
In years past, the Raiders have struggled to get it right on Day 1 of the NFL Draft, a trend Telesco will be tasked with ending. Here, we dive into some recent mock drafts, and see what the plan could be for the Silver and Black moving forward.
NFL mock draft roundup: Raiders with their eyes on a Day 1 QB?
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama
Mel Kiper released his mock draft recently, and a familiar face popped up at No. 13 in Terrion Arnold from Alabama. Both Arnold and Nate Wiggins have gotten a lot of love in terms of possibly being the selection for the Raiders, and with a need on the outside at the position, drafting him in the first round makes a lot of sense.
Luke Easterling from Sports Illustrated also has the Raiders taking Arnold in his latest three-round mock draft. In addition, Las Vegas lands quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in the second round, and wraps things up by adding Michigan defensive tackle Kris Jenkins with pick No. 77 overall.
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State
The guys over at NFL.com put out their first mock drafts of the season, and there was a common theme throughout for the Silver and Black. Bucky Brooks likes the Raiders to select Oregon State offensive tackle Taliese Fuaga, a punishing blocker who could start immediately on the right side in Las Vegas.
Daniel Jeremiah's version for NFL.com has the Raiders going offensive tackle as well, but landing Olu Fashanu from Penn State. Fashanu saw his stock drop a bit after a disappointing 2023 season, but based on testing, and pre-draft workouts, he should be a middle-first round pick this April.
Either player could help the Raiders out immediately.
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: Ernie Rakestraw, CB, Missouri
Over at CBS Sports.com, Chris Trapasso also likes the Raiders to attack the cornerback position, as Ernie Rakestraw is his pick at No. 13. Trapasso likes how Rakestraw projects as a boundary cornerback at the next level, and with Jack Jones returning in 2024, this addition bolsters the group in a big way.
Joe Broback, Pro Football Network: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa
The theme with cornerback continued over at Pro Football Network, this time with the Raiders selecting Cooper DeJean from Iowa. DeJean was a unanimous All-American this season, and won the Tatum-Woodson Award for the national's best defensive back, while also serving as an elite return man for the Hawkeyes.
Lou Scataglia, NFL Spin Zone: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington
We finish out with NFL Spin Zone, as Lou Scataglia likes the Raiders to go with Michael Penix Jr. in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Many experts have Penix falling to Day 2, like Easterling predicted above, but we will have to wait until all the pre-draft workouts commence before we get a clear picture of his draft status.
He pairs Penix with Jordan Morgan, an offensive tackle from Arizona in the second round, stating that Morgan could shift to the right side in Las Vegas. With Jermaine Eluemunor possibly entering free agency, the Raiders could have a need on the right side if Antonio Pierce and his coaching staff do not think Thayer Munford Jr. is ready for a starting role.