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Raiders outlook: The focus will soon shift to 2023 NFL Draft

Las Vegas should be in good draft shape come April

Houston Texans v Las Vegas Raiders
Josh McDaniels, Dave Ziegler
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders are two days away from fully focusing on the the offseason and preparing for the 2023 season after a terribly disappointing first year under new coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler.

With the Raiders just 6-10 going into Saturday’s season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium (kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. PT), the Las Vegas brass knows there is a lot of work to do this offseason. Of course, a focal point will be the April 27-29 draft.

The Raiders are currently on pace to select No. 8 in the first round. They could get as high as No. 6. The Raiders also some extra picks in lower rounds and could increase their draft capital if they can swing a trade for lame-duck quarterback Derek Carr.

This year will be different for the Raiders when it comes to the draft preparation.

  • First, the organization has a full college season’s worth of assessment as a group unlike last year when they put together their front office in early February.
  • Also, of course, the Raiders will have their full draft selections available after giving up their first and second-round picks last year in the great Davante Adams trade with the Green Bay Packers.

This week, McDaniels addressed the difference in the approaches and how the Raiders will prepare for this year’s draft.

“There was a certain number of players that we probably knew last year going into the draft that we were going to have a hard time accessing. Just being factual. You’re looking at the board and the guys that you think like, okay, are they going to go in the 40s, 50s or 60s. You’re not sure, but you might have a shot at them maybe if they fall a little bit. There were certainly guys that you pretty much had a great idea that they were going to be gone in the first 30, 35, 40 picks,” McDaniels told reporters this week. “We evaluated them all. Like I said, there’s a long-term benefit to doing that too because players go on to second and third contracts and it’s the right thing to do your due diligence on that. So, we did that. But I would say this year, obviously there’s going to be a different element, a different feeling as we go into the that part of the year because there’s going to be a number of players now that who the hell knows how the first so many picks go.

“And you just got to be ready to go and hopefully add a bunch of good players to your football team. The other thing that obviously could happen, and I’m not sitting here prognosticating anything so please don’t write anything about this. Like, when you have things and you have more, you can move back. There are all those things that you could do too that we really didn’t have as much of an opportunity to do with where we were slated to pick first last year. There’s a lot of different things that will probably come up and take place between now and then that Dave [Ziegler] is obviously already hard at work on a lot of different things. But when you pick early in each round, and you have a pick in every round, that obviously changes the draft relative to what we had last year.”

This will be a vital offseason in Las Vegas and the Raiders are set up nicely to improve in the draft. Soon, that’s what we’ll be focusing on.