The 2024 NFL Draft is over three months away, but for the Las Vegas Raiders, this could be one of their more important drafts in a long time. Last season, the Raiders made a strong push in the second half, nearly collecting a Wild Card spot, and the expectation is for more growth in 2024.
For the Raiders to accomplish that, they must put together a strong offseason, starting with free agency, as well as the NFL Draft. The first-round has been a tough one for the Silver and Black in recent years, but holding the No. 13 overall selection in 2024, they have a real chance to bring in a guy who can make an impact right away.
In the second round, Las Vegas holds the No. 44 overall selection, solid draft capital for sure going into April. Needs are there on both sides of the ball, and it would not surprise anybody if they picked a cornerback or defensive tackle with one of their first two selections.
However, over at The Athletic, Dane Brugler put together a 2-round mock draft for 2024, and it was all offense for the Las Vegas Raiders.
Raiders go OT on Day 1, QB on Day 2
In Brugler's 2-round mock, the Raiders use the No. 13 overall pick on an offensive tackle, bringing in Alabama star, JC Latham. The Raiders currently have a strong player on the left side in Kolton Miller, who battled through an injured shoulder for much of last season, an injury that required him to miss a few starts.
The right side was a bit of a mixed bag, as Jermaine Eluemunor was not as good as he was in 2022, and Thayer Munford Jr. may not be ready to step in as a long-term starter. He played very well in Miller's absence at left tackle in 2023, but he is more suited as a swing tackle right now, though he could be a starter for the Raiders down the road.
In Latham, they would get a Day 1 starter on the right side as the Raiders try to build along an offensive line that was much better than advertised last season.
On Day 2, the Raiders get their possible future at quarterback in Michael Penix Jr., who luckily falls to Las Vegas in the second round. Penix was an absolute playmaker for a Washington team that made it all the way to the national title game this past season, and some believe he could be more of a Day 1 pick than a second-rounder.
This haul would definitely fill some needs for the Raiders in a big way, as Penix would challenge Aidan O'Connell for the starting job as a rookie. Latham gives the Raiders much-needed depth at offensive tackle, especially if the team lets Eluemunor walk in free agency this offseason.