The Las Vegas Raiders entered the 2023 NFL Draft with a dozen selections at their disposal, and with some crafty trade acquisitions came away with a handful of prospects on both sides of the ball.
We break down Las Vegas’ draft haul and identify any immediate impact players for the upcoming fantasy football season.
Raiders 2023 draft picks
Round 1: No. 7 overall: Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech
Round 2: No. 35 (from Colts): Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Round 3: No. 70 — Byron Young, DL, Alabama
Round 3: No. 100 (from Chiefs through Giants) — Tre Tucker, WR, Cincinnati
Round 4: No. 104 (from Texans) — Jakorian Bennett, CB, Maryland
Round 4: No. 135 (from Patriots) — Aidan O’Connell, QB, Purdue
Round 5: No. 170 (from Packers through Jets) — Christopher Smith, S, Georgia
Round 6: No. 203 (from Giants through Texans) — Amari Burney, OLB, Florida
Round 6: No. 231 — Nesta Jade Silvera, DT, Arizona State
The Raiders have been notorious for reaching based on team needs, as opposed to taking the best player available. In a welcome sight, the Josh McDaniels-Dave Ziegler regime successfully employed the latter strategy, which was highlighted by an absolute home run pick in Round 2.
Did the Raiders fill needs?
Las Vegas had clear opportunities to add depth at offensive line, defensive line, and cornerback, with the possibility of adding some competition to their quarterback room. Wilson was expected to be a top-10 pick so getting him at No. 7 overall isn’t a shock, though he’ll certainly have a learning curve entering the pros. Simply put, the consistency wasn’t there at the collegiate level and his foot rehab will be closely monitored, but the good news is he’ll have great mentors to learn from in Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones.
Michael Mayer was an absolute steal and worth the draft capital of trading up for. He is, in essence, the successor to Darren Waller in the Raiders offense. Bennett and Smith provide nice depth to a secondary that can only improve, while the addition of Tucker is intriguing. Las Vegas has an overabundance of receivers on the roster, which could signal an incoming trade for slot receiver Hunter Renfrow.
Tucker presents some intriguing upside, in particular, if Renfrow is indeed dealt away. But Mayer is by far the prospect that jumps off the page when it comes to fantasy potential. He excels as both a pass-catcher and a blocker, so make no mistake that he will be on the field. If Josh McDaniels aims to use him in a Gronk-like role, then the rookie should surely be on the radar for fantasy managers when looking ahead to the season.
Mayer again grabs the award here, especially given the fact that he was the third tight end taken in a stacked class. Utah’s Dalton Kincaid makes sense as a first-round selection, but Sam Laporta hearing his name called second may have been a head-scratcher. The Raiders saw an opportunity to nab who many considered to be the best tight end in the class and successfully got their man.