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Raiders 2023 draft preview: Deep tight end class

Raiders could find future starter in draft

NFL Combine
Darnell Washington
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders created a need at tight end when they traded Pro Bowl performer Darren Waller to the New York Giants last week.

Yes, they added O.J. Howard and Austin Hooper in free agency after the Waller deal, but they still will likely look at tight ends in the draft since they were both added to one-year deals.

At the recent NFL combine, Las Vegas general manager Dave Ziegler commented how deep the tight end group is in the 2023 NFL draft. With Waller gone, the Raiders will likely draft a tight end.

With other needs and because the class, is deep, it stands to figure Las Vegas could look at tight ends in the third round. They have No. 70 and No. 100, which was acquired for Waller from the Giants.

One name to keep an eye on is Georgia’s Darnell Washington. He is a specimen at 6-7, 264 pounds. Washington. He is a good blocker and has potential to become a strong performer at the next level. He helped himself with a good showing at the NFL combine.

Oregon State’s Luke Musgrave and Iowa Sate’s Sam LaPorta also players that might be available in the third round. But Musgrave could go much earlier. Both of them have big potential as well.

South Dakota State’s Tucker Kraft is an another intriguing tight-end prospect, who could go in the third-round range. He is raw, but he has ability to develop into a starter.

Michigan’s Luke Shoonmaker, Cincinnati’s Josh Whyle and Alabama’s Cameron Latu are also strong mid-round prospects. So, this just might be a great year to tap into the rookie tight end pool.