The Las Vegas Raiders are coming off a 6-11 season that left them without a quarterback going into the offseason. However, other holes all over the roster need to be filled either through free agency or the draft.
With the Raiders making high spending moves the previous offseason, they might take the cheaper route. They have plenty of cap space after the release of Derek Carr, but quarterback replacement will take most of the cap space available. Even lower QBs, such as Jacoby Brissett, will command $15 to $20 Million.
That leaves the Raiders to fill the other holes on this team that were missed in previous drafts. The offensive line position stands out, as well as the secondary. There can be lower-value options at these positions that help immediately while allowing draft flexibility.
- PFF projection
- 3 yrs — $8m avg/yr
- $15.5m guaranteed, $24m total
The safety position was inconsistent for the Raiders last season. Duron Harmon had moments where he would make plays, and Trevon Moehrig flashed in certain situations. The overall performance was much to be desired, and players such as Taylor Rapp could be an upgrade.
For one, Rapp is 25 years old and coming off one of the best seasons of his career. He is an impressive tackler, only 8.7% of his tackles, according to PFF.com, and comes from a two-high scheme. He would fit well with Patrick Graham, who is looking for a versatile safety. The former Washington Huskie played 168 snaps in the slot while lining up at free safety for 524.
Rapp was in the box 257 snaps proving he can play there as well. With his ability to play both safety positions and nickel corner, Rapp could be a player on the Raiders' radar.
- PFF Projection
- 3 yrs — $4m avg/yr
- $6.25m guaranteed, $12m total
The guard position was a struggle for the Raiders for the 2022 season. While Dylan Parham's issues can be attributed to rookie growing pains, the team was forced to turn to Alex Bars. It didn't go well, and the silver and black will look for upgrades at the position.
A player reaching his potential is Will Hernandez, who previously worked with the Arizona Cardinals. His 3.0% pressure rate ranked 13th according to PFF, displaying his ability to protect the passer. Hernandez is built for the power run game he ran at UTEP as a collegiate player. He will adjust quickly to the Raiders' run schemes.
Hernandez will be a cheap option that could become an upgrade. If the Raiders decide to sign a guard in free agency, you will hope it is at this price range with the upside to become a starter long-term.
- PFF Projection
- 2 yrs — $4m avg/yr
- $4.25m guaranteed, $8m total
The Raiders’ linebacking corps from 2022 was up and down and had plenty of injuries. Denzel Perryman was the best linebacker of the bunch, but his body could not hold up with Patrick Graham's scheme. The Raiders could be searching for a new player at that position if they can't bring back Perryman.
Azeez Al-Shaair is a player who sat behind two studs in San Francisco. When he got his chance, he played well against the run and pass, and the 49ers' defense didn't have much of a drop-off. This is why Al-Shaair appears to be a bargain who could help immediately, especially entering the season at 26 years old.
Divine Deablo is coming back into the mix and adding players to the draft. The former San Francisco 49er could also be a depth piece that will allow flexibility with injury. The Raiders need all the depth they can get on the defensive side of the ball.