Las Vegas Raiders 2023 NFL Draft: Team Needs and Top Targets

    With the 2023 NFL Draft here, let's examine the Las Vegas Raiders' team needs. What positions should they look to fill?

    The 2023 NFL Draft is underway. The Las Vegas Raiders have already made a couple of big moves this offseason. They signed Jimmy Garoppolo to be their new quarterback and traded All-Pro tight end Darren Waller to the New York Giants. After grabbing an edge rusher in the first round, what positions do the Raiders need to address during the remainder of the draft?

    Las Vegas Raiders Team Needs Following Round 1 of the NFL Draft

    • C
    • G
    • CB

    No NFL roster is perfect. Whether via free agency, trade, or the draft, each team has needs to address.

    With the No. 19 ranked offensive line, the Raiders should be coming out of this year’s draft with at least two new members up front. Garoppolo is not a mobile quarterback. The team needs to make protecting him a priority.

    MORE: Las Vegas Raiders 2023 NFL Draft Picks

    Overall, though, the Raiders were pretty good offensively, averaging the 12th-most points per game in the league last season. Where they really need help is on the defensive side of the ball.

    Last season, Las Vegas allowed the seventh-most points per game to opponents. They mainly struggled to defend the pass, allowing the fourth-most passing yards per game.

    The Raiders widely addressed defense in the first round, taking Texas Tech EDGE Tyree Wilson. With a staggering 11 picks remaining, the Raiders can really revamp their roster for the coming years.

    Results for Raiders 2023 Draft Picks

    1.07 | Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

    Initially, I had the Raiders going offensive line here. But there’s nothing wrong with grabbing an elite edge rusher instead. Tyree Wilson’s elite athleticism and pass-rushing prowess will provide the Raiders with a much-needed boost to a defense that struggled to stop the pass last season.

    Predictions Remaining Raiders 2023 Draft Picks

    While it’s impossible to predict exactly how any draft will play out, we can use the PFN Mock Draft Simulator to get a pretty good idea of what players will be available at each of a team’s draft picks.

    2.07 | Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State

    Pre-draft, I had the Raiders going EDGE here. Since they took Wilson in the first round, this is the spot to address the offensive line.

    Dawand Jones is a massive human. At 6’8″, 374 pounds, he looks the part of an immovable force. And he’s got quick feet for a guy his size. Jones would provide the Raiders with a great first step in rebuilding their offensive line.

    3.07 | Sydney Brown, S, Illinois

    Last season, Illinois’ defense led the FBS in points allowed. It’s no coincidence that Sydney Brown was a part of that. The Raiders could deploy Brown both in coverage and as a pass rusher in blitz packages.

    3.37 | Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion

    After trading away Waller, the Raiders attempted to replace him by signing Austin Hooper and O.J. Howard. Both veteran journeymen tight ends are on one-year deals. Zack Kuntz could spend a year developing before potentially taking over as the team’s primary tight end in 2024.

    4.07 | Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn

    The Raiders have yet to sign Josh Jacobs to an extension. While they did bring back Ameer Abdullah, he’s now 30 years old. Tank Bigsby commanded a 15.3% target share in his final season at Auburn. He could serve as the team’s satellite back of the future. 

    5.07 | Ricky Stromberg, C, Arkansas

    The Arkansas product is definitely far from a pro-ready player, but Ricky Stromberg provides the Raiders with depth at a position of need.

    5.10 | Myles Brooks, CB, Louisiana Tech

    In a deep cornerback class, Myles Brooks could end up providing the Raiders with Day 2 value on Day 3. Like Stromberg, he would be extra depth at a position of need.

    5.40 | Andrew Vorhees, G, USC

    Unlikely to ever be an NFL starter, Andrew Vorhees is more a floor pick than a ceiling one. He’s a guy capable of filling in for an injured starter, which is really all you can hope for out of a compensatory fifth-round pick.

    6.27 | Cameron Mitchell, CB, Northwestern

    Cameron Mitchell is an average athlete who is unlikely to ever be an NFL starter. He’s a solid pick for depth at this point in the draft.

    6.37 | Jalen Redmond, DT, Oklahoma

    The same goes for Jalen Redmond. Pass rush remains a position of need. Redmond would also provide roster depth.

    7.03 | Tyson Bagent, QB, Shepherd

    From little-known Shepherd University, Tyson Bagent is the most dominant QB in CFB history. Despite facing lesser competition, his raw tools give the Raiders a project, as I doubt they view Garoppolo as their long-term answer at quarterback.

    7.14 | Michael Jefferson, WR, Louisiana-Lafeyette

    Having spent most of the draft on non-skill position players, it never hurts to take a shot on a wide receiver. Day 3 WRs rarely matter, so Michael Jefferson is merely a dart throw, like most Day 3 picks.

    Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast

    Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.

    Related Articles