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Raiders 2023 NFL Draft rewind: Who would you have picked at No. 12?

What would have happened had a trade with Arizona gone ahead?

NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session
Tyree Wilson
Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Recently, the Arizona Cardinals released in-house video from April 27’s NFL Draft Day 1 in which they were deciding between possible trades with the Detroit Lions and Las Vegas Raiders.

In the end, the Cardinals, who earlier traded down from the No. 3 pick, traded back up with the Lions. Arizona received the No. 6 and No. 81 picks, while Detroit received No. 12, No. 34 and No. 168.

We don’t know exactly how close Las Vegas general manager Dave Ziegler was to making that deal. Perhaps it would have fallen apart, but clearly there was serious interest by both the Raiders and the Cardinals in a swap.

Had, however, the Cardinals and Raiders made the deal it likely would have looked something like this based on the Detroit deal:
Arizona gets No. 7 and No. 70.

Las Vegas gets No. 12, No. 34.

The Raiders ended up taking Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson at No. 7 and Alabama defensive tackle Bryon Young at No. 70.

Had this trade been made, of course, would have changed the course of the Raiders’ draft. Had they had the No 12 and No. 34 picks, what would the picks would have been?

My best best guess is they would have taken cornerback Christian Gonzalez at No. 12. He fell all the way to the No. 17 pick by the New England Patriots.

The Raiders could have then packaged No. 34 and No. 38 and move back in the 14-15 range in the first round. Had they kept the No. 34 pick, they very, very likely would have taken Michael Meyer there. The Raiders traded up from No. 38 to take the Notre Dame tight end at No. 35. I would think they would have taken a defensive lineman to make up for not getting Wilson and Young at No. 38.

Perhaps Notre Dame’s edge rusher Isaiah Foskey (he went at No. 40 to New Orleans) or LSU edge rusher BJ Ojulari (Arizona, No. 41) would have been options.

Look, the crazy thing about the draft is what ifs happen almost at every pick. The course of the draft order could change dramatically at any time and almost trades would have turn the draft on its ear.

This probably wasn’t Las Vegas’ only almost draft trade, but it’s fascinating to wonder what may have happened.


Do you wish the Raiders traded down with the Cardinals?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Yes, we would have gotten more ammo
    (134 votes)
  • 68%
    No, I’m cool with the way the draft went
    (293 votes)
427 votes total Vote Now