PFF places Raiders 2023 draft class surprising low in latest rankings

The Las Vegas Raiders rookie class was a mixed bag in 2023, but were they really one of the worst in the NFL?

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Ian Maule/GettyImages

The Las Vegas Raiders 2023 NFL Draft class began with defensive end Tyree Wilson, who the team picked at No. 7 overall. Unfortunately for the Raiders, Wilson played nothing like a top-10 pick, and going into his second season, he already has some 'bust' noise surrounding him.

Looking at the 2023 Draft class as a whole in terms of the entire NFL, some teams hit a home run this past April. The Houston Texans were able to land the premier quarterback in the class in CJ Stroud, who has star written all over him, and was actually passed over for the No. 1 overall pick by the Carolina Panthers.

Pro Football Focus recently ranked all the 32 draft classes after Year 1, and the rankings were not kind to the Raiders rookie class.

I understand the premise, as some of the ranking was based on how many snaps players got, as well as their impact. Most of the Raiders 2023 class did not see the field a ton in Year 1, but the class did produce the eventual starting quarterback, a dynamic tight end, and a wide receiver who displayed solid playmaking ability.

In the end, Pro Football Focus ranked the Raiders rookie class in the bottom of the NFL, coming in at No. 28, which meant they had the fifth-worst productivity ranking. Going into next season, they will have to try and change the narrative surrounding the group.

Raiders sophomores looking to make a bigger impact in Year 2

Aidan O'Connell, the team's fourth-round pick in 2023, played very well as a rookie, but will have to stave off Gardner Minshew II and possibly a high 2024 draft pick to retain the starting job. Wilson moved inside along the defensive line and played better down the stretch, but more is needed if he is going to live up to his top-10 status.

With Hunter Renfrow being released, you can expect to see a lot more production from Tre Tucker in Year 2, and you have to believe Michael Mayer will take a big step forward as well. Then there are the wild cards, like Chris Smith II, Jakorian Bennett, Byron Young, and Amari Burney, all of whom will have to have good summers just to make the roster this offseason.