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Las Vegas Raiders

Raiders Surprisingly Wheel & Deal In Latest 2023 Mock Draft!

Here is an original quote from this Raiders mock draft, “Being one injury away from relying on Brandon Bolden is never the way to build your roster.”

Raiders

I am aware that Free Agency comes before the draft but it is always nice to get a look ahead at the board and see how things shift and who could be possible fits as we get closer to April. The Raiders come into this offseason with a top-ten selection. This is quite a lot of firepower for a team that has holes to fill. All mock drafts were done on the Pro Football Network draft simulator.

A Pair Of First Round Trade Backs For The Raiders

With a defense that ranked in the bottom ten in most metrics, and an offense that was clearly missing something they could use multiple top-50 picks. Trading with the lions I moved down to 18 and collected 48 and 2024 first and second-round picks from the Lions. Bryce Young and Cj Stroud were taken and I am not sold on Will Levis or Anthony Richardson. We get to 18 and the Ravens offered 22 and another 2024 second which I accepted to move back four spots.

Pick 22: Cam Smith Cornerback South Carolina

Cam Smith (6-0 185) can come in and rejuvenate this Raiders secondary that let teams do whatever they wanted on it for the majority of the year. This is primarily a lockdown man corner with some zone skills and an alpha mentality, sound like any other Gamecock CB recently drafted *cough Jaycee Horn cough*? Patrick Graham likes to run more zone looks but having a competitor like Smith on this unit could elevate everyone, Smith shouldn’t be overlooked at this value due to the scheme.

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Second-Round Studs?

Josh Jacobs could be on his way out during the FA period since LV didn’t pick up his option. Even if he stays Josh McDaniels has made a living running and offense with multiple backs who can be weapons in the passing game. This could be a match made in heaven, especially for the Tom Brady to LV truthers.

Pick 38: Jahmyr Gibbs Running Back Alabama

For those who don’t know I could be the only one on the planet with Gibbs as my number one back in this class. Yes over Bijan. Gibbs has game-breaking speed, he hits a hole and can take almost any play to the house, he also spent time in the slot at Alabama. This guy is an offensive weapon and in McDaniels’ hands, he could take the league by storm. Adding Gibbs and possibly Tom Brady to Adams Waller, Hollins, and Renfow should make defensive coordinators sleepless.

Pick 48: Darnell Wright Offensive Tackle Tennessee

Here we are again ten picks later, whichever QB is under center is going to need time in the pocket to make all the throws. Adding a 6’6 335-pound tackle with great feet is a wonderful way to start. Wright had offers from back-to-back CFP champion Bulldogs, Bama, Buckeyes, and Clemson before committing to Tenn, He was highly sought after in college and shouldn’t be much different in the pros. Born to be a pro and the perfect way to begin retooling an offensive line that turned Derek Carr into Brock Osweiler.

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Raiders Add To Their Secondary

As I mentioned before covering opposing passing attacks has been an issue for a Raiders team that has missed on some recent high pick that has left its back end with a lot of work to do. These

Pick 70 Tarique Stevenson Cornerback Miami (FL)

Adding another tall (6-0 214 lbs) and strong corner to the room is never a bad idea, being a transfer from Georgia Stevenson knows how to cover the elite talent and he has enough speed to play at a solid level in the NFL. He has zone coverage ability but there is still some room to grow, Graham should be able to coach him up in that area. He does have the length and the attitude to play in the league and his demeanor should fit right in with the Raiders.

Pick 107 Christopher Smith Safety Georgia

Christopher is one of the nation’s best ball hawks and an extremely smart player, he understands spacing and is tremendous at the catch point. He is a bit underside which is why he falls to the fourth. If this is how the draft goes and the Raiders add Cam Smith, Tarique Stevenson, and Christopher Smith they could have a formidable back end to pair with Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones.

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Back To Back Wolverines

Pick 139 Luke Schoonmaker Tight End Michigan

Waller has turned from a league journeyman to the Raiders’ superstar but he is 31 and will add another year to his career in 2023. It could be a good idea to draft Schoonmaker who has enough traits to become a viable tight end in this league. This is a player you could see in a couple of years who starts making a name for himself. Luke’s big frame helped him in the red zone and the blocking game but he relies heavily on it which won’t hold up unless he adds more technique.

Pick 142 Olusegun Oluwatimi OC Michigan

Going into the 2022 NFL Draft Oluwatimi was given high praise, he returned to school and had a solid season but wasn’t as good as his junior year so he has slid down the board but all the traits that got the buzz going are still there he could end up being a starter for a long time. The Alex Leatherwood experience was bleak at best, Oluwatimi could come in and immediately be a better fit for this system than Alex.

Rounding Out The Class

The last three picks of the draft typically don’t give too much value unless your name is either Tom Brady or Brock Purdy, but let’s see if we can strike some gold.

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Pick 191 Shaka Heyward Linebacker Duke

I usually don’t watch a ton of Duke football but when I did, I noticed him at 9-4 224 pounds of downhill tackling machine. The Blue Devils had one of the better defenses in the ACC and it was led by Heyward, he doesn’t get enough credit to his name because of the inferior competition that he plays against in the ACC but he has the tools and traits which are all a GM could ask for at this point.

Pick 199 Mohamed Ibrahim Running Back Minnesota

With Josh Jacobs seemingly on his way out the addition of Gibbs inst enough on his own adding a more violent one-cut runner who can take more of the interior rushes and some of the abuse of Gibbs. That doesn’t mean Mohamed is a plotter, once he hits the league field he will be a candidate for Angry Runs, He reminds me of Damien Harris. Being one injury away from relying on Brandon Bolden is never the way to build your roster.

Pick 210 Cam Jones Linebacker Indiana

Much like Heyward Cam Jones was one of the bright spots of an otherwise forgettable season for the Hoosiers, he is versatile and can be used as a box safety. He shouldn’t be relied upon in long stretches of coverage but can cover in a pinch. If he actually makes the roster and gets playing time watch out cause Jones hits hard!

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Conclusion

Here is The Raiders 2023 Draft Class for the early mock on January 19th

Cam Smith CB USC, Jahmyr Gibbs RB Alabama, Darnell Wright OT Tennessee, Tyrique Stevenson CB UMiami, Christopher Smith S Georgia, Luke Schoonmaker TE Michigan, Olusegun Oluwatimi OC Michigan, Shaka Heyward LB Duke, Mohamed Ibrahim RB Minnesota, Cam Jones LB Indiana. Don’t forget a 2024 first and the two 2024 seconds acquired from moving back.


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Written By

Massachusetts native. Big time Boston sports fan. Avid fantasy football player. Not just a stat nerd. Respect is important. I like being the first to break news. Overly excited sports fan, but not oblivious to facts or shortcomings. #capiscrap

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