Raiders trade for potential franchise-altering QB in ESPN's 2025 NFL Mock Draft

Maybe the long game isn't such a bad idea.
New England Patriots v Oakland Raiders
New England Patriots v Oakland Raiders / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages

There's been a lot of talk about the Raiders since the NFL Draft ended last weekend. Despite a lot of indications that they wanted to go get a QB at some point in the early rounds, the Raiders stayed put at 15, missed out on six (!) different QBs, and spent most of the weekend addressing their secondary instead.

Praise for the team's draft class has been few and far between, with a vocal majority of draft analysts and random people on Twitter being confused about some of the decisions they made. But there's always next year, which is definitely not just what teams that miss out on six QBs always say. According to ESPN's 2025 Mock Draft – you didn't think they'd wait until next year, did you? – the Raiders are about to realize that two years of Gardner Minshew is 1.5 too many.

Raiders draft potential franchise-altering QB in ESPN's '25 Mock Draft

If ESPN's right, the Raiders are going to be the 10th worst team in football next year. So get excited! The good news, however, is that ESPN also thinks that they'll realize sometimes you just have to trade up for a QB, and they'll go get arguably the best prospect in next year's class: Colorado QB Shedeur Sanders. Here's what they say:

With Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers and Brock Bowers on offense, the Raiders can set up a young passer really well. And Sanders is a smooth operator whose game centers on his great ball placement (69.3% completion rate last season, eighth in the FBS) and calm demeanor when protected in the pocket. He took 52 sacks in 2023 behind a struggling offensive line, so Sanders' internal clock must speed up before he gets to the next level; he tends to compound mistakes by holding on to the ball too long. But he has a ton of talent and can certainly be the answer for Las Vegas. I see a lot of similarities to Geno Smith in his game.

Sanders is a fun prospect, and even with his flaws is a better longterm plan than seeing the Gardner Minshew/Aidan O'Connell duo out for a couple more seasons. It's not looking like a super talented QB class next year, so getting one of the few prospects that people project to be an actual NFL starter would be a no-brainer for Las Vegas. Hopefully Vegas lands on Deion's shortlist.