NFL Draft 2023: First-round trades Raiders could make, including leap to No. 3 to select franchise QB

NFL Draft 2023: First-round trades Raiders could make, including leap to No. 3 to select franchise QB
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The Las Vegas Raiders are going to look a bit different in 2023. The team put an end to the Derek Carr era, releasing the franchise’s leading passer and replacing him with former 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. While you may think that puts an end to the QB conversation in Sin City, you’d be wrong. The Raiders own the No. 7 overall pick at the 2023 NFL Draft and taking a quarterback to develop behind Garoppolo appears to be still on the table. And it’s that narrative that brings us to our little thought experiment today.

While the Raiders could take a quarterback at No. 7, let’s go down a trio of routes where they trade the pick. One will revolve around getting that top-tier quarterback prospect, while the other two will center around skipping out on taking a signal-caller in the opening round altogether, despite some sitting on the board.

Trade up to No. 3

  • Raiders get: 2023 first (No. 3)
  • Cardinals get: 2023 first (No. 7), 2024 first, 2023 third (No. 100)

This is the big swing for Las Vegas and would likely cost even more than the two first-rounders and a third to vault up to No. 3 if the Cardinals put it up for auction. But, this is the type of move to select a high-ceiling player – Florida’s Anthony Richardson. With C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young off the board, the Raiders leap over the Colts, Seahawks, and Lions – all of whom could take Richardson as a developmental prospect – to take their quarterback of the future. Because the Raiders have Garoppolo in-house, this is an ideal situation for Richardson to land in because he won’t be required to start right out of the gate and can be allowed to ease his way into the NFL. Josh McDaniels has been able to develop quarterbacks – like Garoppolo and Mac Jones – in the past and did have some success with Cam Newton in terms of highlighting his mobility, which can be applied to Richardson.

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As for Arizona, it gains a tremendous asset in that 2024 first rounder and add on another pick inside the top 100 in this year’s draft while remaining inside the top 10. At No. 7, the Cardinals could still pick up a top defensive player like corner Christian Gonzalez, edge rusher Tyree Wilson or even defensive lineman Jalen Carter if he falls.

Trade down to No. 11

  • Raiders get: 2023 first (No. 11 overall), 2023 second (No. 41), 2024 fifth
  • Titans get: 2023 first (No. 7)

Now this is a scenario where a quarterback – Kentucky’s Will Levis – is on the board when the Raiders are on the clock, but they opt to pass on the position at this juncture. Instead of simply taking another player at a position of need, GM Dave Ziegler puts the pick up for sale for teams interested in jumping up over the Atlanta Falcons, who could be in the QB market at No. 8. This is where Tennessee decides to swoop in and offer a top-tier Day 2 pick along with No. 11 overall and a future asset to climb up and take Levis as the heir apparent to Ryan Tannehill, who is entering the final year of his deal.

For Las Vegas, it adds to its already impressive amount draft picks (the Raiders currently have 12 entering the draft) while just inching out of the top 10. At No. 11, there will be plenty of talent on the board like edge rusher Lukas Van Ness, defensive lineman Myles Murphy or corner Devon Witherspoon. Meanwhile, that second-rounder would give them two picks inside the top 10 on Day 2, which they could even use to possibly swing back up into the back end of the first round if a player they grade his is still on the board.

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Trade down to No. 12

  • Raiders get: 2023 first (No. 12), 2023 second (No. 33), 2024 fourth
  • Texans get: 2023 first (No. 7)

If you’re yearning for chaos at the NFL Draft, this is a scenario you’ll enjoy. Here, the Houston Texans DO NOT take a quarterback at No. 2 overall. Instead, they opt for the top defensive player available in Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr., sending the entire draft board into mayhem. In all the hoopla, Kentucky’s Will Levis falls to No. 7 and the Texans leap back up to take him by swinging a trade with the Raiders using their other first-rounder (No. 12 overall) while also shipping away the second pick in the second round and a future asset.

Houston gets its QB of the future and the top defensive player in this class, while the Raiders keep collecting draft picks and only move down five spots where there’s still plenty of talent available. While Las Vegas opted against taking a quarterback here, that additional second-rounder (No. 33) could put them in the range of Tennessee signal-caller Hendon Hooker, who could be their developmental piece behind Garoppolo.