We have a lovely Josh McDaniels and Jimmy Garoppolo reunion in Las Vegas with the Raiders. No Aaron Rodgers, no trading away draft picks, and the head coach gets an established quarterback with whom he's familiar to disperse the football to Davante Adams, Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow and Co.
Of course, the Raiders have plenty more spending to do in free agency, but with the biggest chip added to the stack -- pun intended -- let's outline what would be a perfect draft plan for Las Vegas as it prepares for the 2023 campaign.
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2023 NFL Draft
No. 7 overall: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
The Raiders secondary has been a borderline abomination for a while now. It plagued quality Raiders teams in 2014 and 2021 and was a real hindrance to Las Vegas' playoff push late in the 2022 season. With the likes of Anthony Averett and failed trade acquisition Rock Ya-Sin on the free-agent market, it's time for the Raiders to add a highly coveted outside corner in the draft.
Only 21 years old, Gonzalez had two lockdown seasons at Colorado before transferring to Oregon, where he again looked the part of a future top-of-the-first-round selection. Then, at nearly 6-foot-2 and just under 200 pounds with 32 inch arms, he ran 4.38 with a 41.5-inch vertical at the combine. Las Vegas makes him the first cornerback off the board in April in this scenario.
Round 2: Cody Mauch, OL, North Dakota State
The left side of the Raiders offensive line -- good. The right side -- look away. Mauch hails from the preeminent FCS powerhouse and is more athletic on the field than he demonstrated at the combine. He can play right tackle, right guard -- really wherever Josh McDaniels wants -- to begin his career at 6-foot-5 and over 300 pounds with arms just under 33 inches. His tenacity will pair nicely with 2022 rookie Dylan Parham at left guard for a while.
Round 3: Parker Washington, WR, Penn State
Washington is an underneath, circus-catch, YAC weapon who feels perfectly suited for what McDaniels prefers from his receivers. He's not a tremendous athlete and was held back due to up and down quarterback play in college. As the No. 4 option early in his career, Washington can make the most out of Garoppolo's propensity to throw short, high-percentage throws. Las Vegas must add more wideout depth, particularly if Mack Hollins signs elsewhere in free agency.
Round 4: Moro Ojomo, DT, Texas
Ojomo is a chiseled, up-the-field rusher, a type desperately needed in the Las Vegas defense. There's already loads of attention paid to Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones. Ojomo is almost identically sized and tested almost exactly like former first-round pick Sheldon Richardson. With Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and now Russell Wilson with Sean Payton in the division, it's a must that the Raiders can generate more juice from the inside of their defensive line, and Ojomo can do exactly that.