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Raiders draft 2022: Surprise, a running back

Las Vegas wheels and deals in 4th round

NFL Combine
Zamir White
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders wasted little time getting into the swing of things early on Day 3 of the 2022 NFL draft.

New Las Vegas general manager Dave Ziegler swung two trades in the fourth round — and his third of the draft, both with the Minnesota Vikings. In the end, the Raiders acquired picks No. 122, 126 and No. 250 for No. 126 (yes, that’s right), No. 165, No. 169 and No. 227. Currently, the Raiders, who have made three selections, have No. 164 (fifth round and No. 250 (seventh round) remaining.

Through the smoke of the trade winds, the Raiders made a surprise pick at No. 122, selecting Georgia running back Zamir White.

The Raiders are deep at running back and have other needs. But the team just decided not to give Josh Jacobs the fifth-year option, so both he and Kenyan Drake are free agents next year. So, expect Jacobs, the No. 24 overall pick in 2019, to likely be elsewhere in 2023.

White can be Las Vegas’ primary tailback in his second season. He is a punishing runner, who is strong after contact and he has big speed. He has great potential. The issue is, he blew out his ACL twice in college.

But he is very much an interesting pick. After the Raiders traded up to get White, the Chargers took Texas A&M tailback Isaiah Spiller at the very next pick. The Raiders clearly thought Los Angeles was targeting White and they made their move. it will be fun to watch these two players’ careers develop and see what team made the right move,.

After getting No. 126 back, the Raiders took LSU nose tackle Neil Farrell. He is a run stuffer who fits new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s scheme, the Raiders loaded up at the position this offseason, adding three players in free agency and retaining Johnathan Hankins in free agency. Led by new pick-up Bilal Nichols, this position will be fun to watch. Farrell broke out in 2021 and has big upside.

UPDATE: The Raiders added yet another defensive tackle in the fifth round in the form of Tennessee’s Matthew Butler. He can provide some pass-rush from the position. So, it’s a fascinating group.

So far, Ziegler has added help in the trenches and in the backfield. Perhaps more secondary help will be on the way. And I wouldn’t be surprised if more trades are looming.