They managed to go 10-7 last year, earning a playoff berth, but only managed six wins in 2022. Not only that, veteran quarterback Derek Carr’s time in the silver and black seems to have come to an end. The Raiders are now in a situation with a bad head coach and no long-term solution at quarterback.
In the meantime, they could have interest in Tom Brady or even Jimmy Garoppolo, but neither of them are long-term answers. Furthermore, their defense was among the worst in the NFL in 2022, ranking 26th in points allowed.
Las Vegas Raiders: 3 options with their top pick in ’23
Trade up for a long-term answer at quarterback
Since Josh McDaniels is not going anywhere, he’ll likely get to chose what quarterback situation he’d like to put himself in. Brady and Garoppolo would both be adequate short-term options, but obviously not long-term.
So, the most forward-thinking move they can make is either trying to trade up for “their guy.” It’s not like that all of Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, or Will Levis will be there. And it also depends on who they have ranked as their top signal callers.
If they’d want the formerly mentioned players, a trade up is a likely scenario. This would give them a chance at finding a long-term answer with a higher ceiling than Derek Carr.
Using the pick to try and trade for a QB (Hint: Lamar Jackson)
There is a chance that Lamar Jackson could request a trade out of Baltimore. I think both sides ultimately hope that a contract extension gets done, but there’s always a chance that something happens until it doesn’t or cannot.
What if the former MVP does request a trade and wants to be sent to the Las Vegas Raiders? The framework of a potential package would have to start with the seventh overall pick plus much more.
The Ravens would want immediate returns in the deal, obviously, so some players might be included in that. Perhaps Derek Carr would be part of that deal if Baltimore was interested in his services.
I personally do not think Lamar Jackson is requesting a trade, but I do think the Las Vegas Raiders are a clear option for veteran quarterbacks to land in 2023 and beyond.
Stand pat for a premier defensive draft pick
If the Las Vegas Raiders do not plan on being that aggressive around draft day, the safest option is to stand pat at seventh and pick one of the top defensive players in the 2023 NFL Draft. Kelee Ringo, Bryan Bresee, or Tyree Wilson could be options.
The Raiders’ defense was abysmal in 2022, and perhaps their biggest need with that unit is in the secondary. They did field the 12th ranked scoring offense, so if they could get their hands on a quarterback upgrade, they’re probably in great shape on that side of the ball.
They could then devote significant resources to fixing the defense, which has been a problem for a while now.