Raiders have plenty of options at draft with No. 7 pick
HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — What the Las Vegas Raiders do with their No. 7 overall pick in the draft is quite the mystery, and arguments could be made for any number of options.
They could trade up to draft a quarterback, trade down to meet multiple needs throughout their roster or stand pat and snag a player who will potentially make an immediate impact.
“What we’ve tried to do is put ourselves in a position so we can actually draft the best player that we feel like is available at the time, and we’re open to anything,” coach Josh McDaniels said. “If that happened to be a quarterback, then it’s a quarterback. If it happened to be a defensive lineman, it’s a defensive lineman. If it happened to be a tight end, it’s a tight end.”
The Raiders have room to maneuver because they own five of the top 109 selections and 12 overall, meaning they can potentially stock their roster even without trades. But they also have enough picks to orchestrate a deal if they see an opportunity.
Considering the holes throughout their roster, especially on defense, the Raiders need all the help they can get.
They also likely will keep an eye on their potential future quarterback, who could sit behind Jimmy Garoppolo. Whether the Raiders take a shot at Florida’s Anthony Richardson or Kentucky’s Will Levis in the first round or select someone such as Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker or Fresno State’s Jake Haener on the second or third days is a major question.
The Raiders landed at the seventh spot because of their 6-11 record last season.
Las Vegas has needs all over the defense, and cornerback is especially in need of an upgrade after opposing quarterbacks completed 67.6% of passes last season, third worst in the league.
Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez and Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon are two possibilities. Both players can make the case for being the draft’s top player at that position, and the Raiders could pair one of them with Nate Hobbs, a promising cornerback who enters his third season. Hobbs and Witherspoon were teammates at Illinois in 2019 and 2020.
The Raiders also need to bolster their offensive line. Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski, Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. or Tennessee’s Darnell Wright could be a good bookend for left tackle Kolton Miller, Las Vegas’ best offensive lineman.
Las Vegas also could bolster its pass rush and defensive interior, and the Raiders, of course, are searching for a QB.
With Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow and newly acquired Jakobi Meyers, wide receiver is a spot the Raiders can pass on, at least in the early rounds.
PASS ON CARTER?
The decision might be taken out of the Raiders’ hands by the time their pick arrives, but Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter certainly would be tempting.
He is a top-five draft talent, but Carter pleaded no contest to reckless driving and racing in March after a car crash killed Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy.
If the Raiders are in position to draft Carter and indeed select him, they will do so understanding the scrutiny that comes with such a selection.
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