2023 NFL Draft: Reviewing team needs in the AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Kansas City Chiefs (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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NFL Draft
Las Vegas Raiders (Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports) /

2023 NFL Draft: Las Vegas Raiders

The obvious hole on this Raiders team is quarterback. Derek Carr will almost certainly be moving elsewhere in the offseason after nine seasons as the Raiders starting QB. But are the Raiders moving toward a full-blown rebuild? This is a roster with some top-end talent, and I expect they will compete in 2023. I believe next season’s starting quarterback will be found in free agency.

Top Needs: QB, OT, IDL

Whether it’s Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, or someone else, I think the Raiders will acquire a short-term starting option in free agency, as well as select their quarterback of the future in the NFL Draft. This could be a Will Levis, Anthony Richardson, or Hendon Hooker. Without the need to start right away, Josh McDaniels would have time to groom his guy, one that may not be as polished as the top-end options (Young, Stroud).

Whoever is under center will need better play out of the offensive line. While Kolton Miller has been tremendous at left tackle, the right side could use an upgrade. Jermaine Eluemunor had a surprisingly solid 2023 but should not be viewed as a long-term building block. He’s set to be a free agent and the Raiders should look to extend him but as a swing tackle or depth option.

Similarly, Alex Bars at the right guard spot is not the answer long-term. The Raiders could look for someone with the versatility to slide inside and play either role.

On the other side of the ball, the Raiders need help on the interior defensive line. Among the underperforming IDL group, only three players are under contract for the 2023 season, none of whom are high-end guys. Adding inside pressure through the NFL Draft should help the edge rush from Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones. For a defense that ranked 30th in sacks this season, getting more pressure is a must. Keep an eye on the secondary as well; the Raiders ranked 29th in the league in passing yards allowed per game (242.9 ypg) and lack high-end talent at both corner and safety.