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Raiders draft 2022: Could a tight end fit?

Josh McDaniels loves his tight ends

NCAA Football: UCLA at Washington
Cade Otton
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

With no immediate, glaring need at the position, needs elsewhere and only five draft picks, it may not make initial sense if the Las Vegas Raiders target the tight end position in the April 28-30 draft.

However, not so fast. I wouldn’t necessarily discount new Las Vegas general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels considering tight ends in the draft.

After all, star tight end Darren Waller has two years remaining on his contract, key backup Foster Moreau is entering the final year of his deal, McDaniels loved to use double tight-end sets in New England and, McDaniels has stated he is always looking for the best available players in the draft.

So, yes, it’s possible that Las Vegas considered taking a tight end in the drat. There are some quality options at the positions in the mid rounds.

Tight end prospects such as Isaiah Likely (who the Raiders met with at the combine) of Coastal Carolina, Cade Otton of Washington and Jalen Wydermyer of Texas A&M may might not make it out of the third round. So, it’s not clear if the Raiders would want to use their top draft pick, No. 86, at the position. But, if one of these players are sitting at the top of the Raiders’ draft board, I could see McDaniels and Ziegler being tempted. Again, tight ends are a big part of this offense and their could be a need in the near future.

Likely, Otton and Wydermyer have all produced in college and all have starting tight end potential, according to many league scouts.

There are other tight end options in the latter rounds as well.

Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert produced some in college, but many scouts think his game can take the next step at the pro level. He could be a nice get in the fourth-fifth round. Other possibilities include Wisconsin’s Jake Ferguson, Florida’s Kemore Gamble and SMU’s Grant Calcaterra. These players are considered low-risk, high-ceiling type prospects.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them ends up in Las Vegas.