Raiders newest impact TE: Michael Mayer
Early in the offseason, Ziegler decided to end the Raiders tenure of Darren Waller, sending the Pro Bowl tight end to the New York Giants for pick No. 100 in the 2023 NFL Draft. That selection ended up being Tre Tucker, but with Waller gone, as well as Foster Moreau, the franchise needed to do something to bolster the tight end room.
In free agency, the Raiders landed Austin Hooper and OJ Howard, two veteran players who have starting experience at the NFL level. In the 2023 NFL Draft, the Raiders traded up on Day 2 to select the second overall pick in the second round, adding Notre Dame star tight end Michael Mayer.
Mayer was widely considered the best tight end in the draft class, and him falling to Day 2 was kind of a shock. However, his blend of speed, size, athleticism, and blocking ability made him a perfect fit for Josh McDaniels's offense, so it made a lot of sense that Ziegler would go up on Day 2 and select him.
With the Raiders, Mayer should stand out immediately this summer, and earn the starting job over the two veterans the team brought in. He will lead what will be a new-look, but solid tight end room, and could be in the discussion for the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year when all is said and done.