2023 NFL Offseason: Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders (Last Year: 6-11)

2023 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, QB Brian Hoyer, WR Jakobi Meyers, WR DeAndre Carter, WR Phillip Dorsett, WR Cam Sims, TE Austin Hooper, G Greg Van Roten, DT John Jenkins, LB Robert Spillane, CB Duke Shelley, CB Brandon Facyson, S Marcus Epps, S David Long.
Early Draft Picks:
DE Tyree Wilson, TE Michael Mayer, DT Byron Young, WR Tre Tucker, CB Jakorian Bennett, QB Aidan O’Connell, S Christopher Smith. Raiders Rookie Forecast
Offseason Losses:
QB Jarrett Stidham, WR Mack Hollins, TE Darren Waller, TE Foster Moreau, OT Jermaine Eluemunor, DE/OLB Jordan Jenkins, DE Clelin Ferrell, DT Andrew Billings, LB Denzel Perryman, LB Jayon Brown, CB Rock Ya-Sin, CB Sidney Jones, S Duron Harmon.

2023 Las Vegas Raiders Offense:
The Derek Carr era has officially concluded. Carr had been the Raiders’ starting quarterback since the team drafted him in 2014. Carr’s tenure with the team ended poorly, with the quarterback crying in front of the media and then leaving the team once getting benched ahead of the penultimate week of the season. Carr signed with the Saints this offseason, prompting the Raiders to replace him with Jimmy Garoppolo.

Garoppolo did a great job as a game manager for the 49ers, taking the team to a Super Bowl and multiple conference championship appearances. However, Garoppolo came up small in the biggest moments, failing to engineer any sort of offense in the second half of the Super Bowl versus the Chiefs. Garoppolo is also dealing with an injury that could cause the Raiders to cut him, leaving them with ancient journeyman Brian Hoyer and fourth-round rookie Aidan O’Connell.

Garoppolo has also been coached at an extremely high level by Kyle Shanahan, and he’s also had support from a superb offensive line. The same can’t be said of the Raiders’ coaching and blocking. Josh McDaniels is a clear downgrade from Shanahan, while the Raiders’ blocking isn’t ideal, as evidenced by their desire to draft Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson No. 7 overall this past April. Johnson went off the board one pick earlier, so the Raiders will once again struggle to to block across from the talented Kolton Miller. Jermaine Eluenumor is the favorite to start at right tackle. He was fine last year, but has a history of performing on a mediocre level.

The Raiders aren’t in good shape in the interior either. There’s some hope that last year’s third-rounder Dylan Parham can develop into a quality player, but fellow guard Alex Bars was an atrocious blocker last year. Center Andre James wasn’t very good either.

If the Raiders can figure out how to keep their blocking on a high level, Garoppolo, assuming he’s on the field, will be able to distribute the ball to some talented play-makers. This includes Davante Adams, though the star receiver has been vocal about his displeasure regarding McDaniels’ offense. If the Raiders begin slowly, he could be put on the trading block. The front office signed constant overachiever Jakobi Meyers to join Adams and reliable slot weapon Hunter Renfrow. The Raiders lost Darren Waller this offseason, but replaced him with second-round rookie tight end Michael Mayer, who could have easily been chosen in the opening frame.

Aside from Adams, Garoppolo’s top weapon will be Josh Jacobs, who led the league in rushing last year with 1,653 yards and 12 touchdowns. Jacobs has become a much better weapon in the passing game. He caught 53 passes for 400 receiving yards in 2022.

2023 Las Vegas Raiders Defense:
The Raiders believed they’d have one of the top pass rushes in the NFL last year in the wake of signing Chandler Jones to join Maxx Crosby. While Crosby was his usual, dominant self, the Raiders didn’t apply too much pressure on the quarterback because Jones was a disappointment as a 32-year-old. Now 33, Jones could be even worse, which would explain why the Raiders used the No. 7 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on Tyree Wilson. Though Wilson has some injury concerns, he’s still a talented edge rusher who can be a force as a bookend for Crosby.

The front office will find it imperative for Wilson to pan out because they passed on Jalen Carter with the seventh selection. Carter, chosen by the Eagles two picks later, could be a dominant presence in the NFL. He would have been a huge upgrade for the Raiders, who have a major lack of talent at defensive tackle. Las Vegas is currently projected to start Bilal Nichols and Jerry Tillery at the position, which sounds disastrous. Nichols is mediocre at best, while Tillery has been a colossal first-round bust.

Another reason the Raiders will need Wilson to succeed is the weakness of the secondary. Las Vegas’ defensive backfield is a mess. Cornerback is particularly problematic. Nate Hobbs is a talented player in the slot, but the outside cornerback play is likely to be very rough this season. David Long, Duke Shelley, Amik Robertson and Brandon Facyson will all compete for snaps, but none of them are very good options. Shelley had some nice moments last year for the Vikings, but he has a poor history otherwise.

The player with the most potential in the Raiders’ secondary is third-year safety Trevon Moehrig, who was chosen in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Moehrig had a disappointing sophomore campaign, but perhaps he’ll improve. He’s expected to start next to Marcus Epps, who was signed this offseason after playing in Philadelphia. Epps was the Eagles’ worst starting defensive back last year, so his presence won’t make things much better.

Things aren’t any brighter at linebacker. Robert Spillane was brought in from the Steelers, but he’s just a two-down player who tends to get torched in coverage. Divine Deablo, the other primary linebacker, is a similar player, so the Raiders will have major issues defending the middle of the field.

2023 Las Vegas Raiders Schedule and Intangibles:
Daniel Carlson has been a brilliant kicker for the Raiders over the past three years. He has drilled at least 91.9 percent of his attempts in each of the past three seasons. He was even 11-of-13 from 50-plus last year!

A.J. Cole has ranked in the top five of net punting in each of the previous two seasons.

The Raiders already had a difficult schedule because they reside in the AFC West. They open up with the Broncos, Bills, Steelers and Chargers, which is pretty tough. They have some easier games after that, but then have a stretch where they take on the Lions, Giants, Jets, Dolphins and Chiefs.

2023 Las Vegas Raiders Rookies:
Go here for the Raiders Rookie Forecast, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.

2023 Las Vegas Raiders Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
Offensive Line
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams

2023 Las Vegas Raiders Analysis: Before the Jimmy Garoppolo news, the Raiders were viewed as a mediocre team in a very tough conference. The Garoppolo injury changes everything, however. If he’s hurt or cut, which is the assumption made when generating the projection, the Raiders will have one of the worst records in the NFL.

Projection: 2-15 (4th in AFC West)

2022 Projection: 10-7. 2021 Actual Result: 6-11.
2021 Projection: 5-12. 2021 Actual Result: 10-7.
2020 Projection: 8-8. 2020 Actual Result: 8-8.
2019 Projection: 3-13. 2019 Actual Result: 7-9.
2018 Projection: 10-6. 2018 Actual Result: 4-12.
2017 Projection: 12-4. 2017 Actual Result: 6-10.
2016 Projection: 9-7. 2016 Actual Result: 12-4.

NFL Draft Team Grade: B Grade

Goals Entering the 2023 NFL Draft: The Raiders have chosen not to rebuild despite being leagues behind the Chiefs. They paid Jimmy Garoppolo lots of money this offseason, so they’ll need to improve his pass protection. Otherwise, many improvements must be made to the defense, which was 27th against the pass and 23rd versus the run last year.

2023 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Las Vegas missed out on its preferred prospect at No. 7 when the Cardinals moved ahead of them to acquire Paris Johnson. The Raiders had to “settle” for Tyree Wilson as a result, but he’s not a bad consolation prize, as he’ll improve the defense if he can remain healthy. The Raiders made sure they were getting their man in the second frame when they were the ones who moved up for a prospect. They obtained Michael Mayer, who will give Jimmy Garoppolo a reliable intermediate target.

The Raiders made some solid picks during the rest of the draft, using five of their next seven selections on defensive players. Byron Young will fill a huge need at defensive tackle, while Amari Burney was a great value selection in the sixth round. In fact, of the Raiders’ nine picks, only one was graded worse than a C-. That was Tre Tucker, who was a slight reach at the end of the third frame and didn’t really fill a need.

I’d say the Raiders had a solid draft overall. It could have been better had they landed Johnson, but they did a good job of bolstering their defense with quality picks.

NFL Draft Individual Grades:

7. Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech – B Grade
There was some concern with Tyree Wilson’s health, but the Raiders are obviously OK with it. Defensive end was not a big need at the moment because the Raiders have Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones on the roster, but you can never have too many talented pass rushers. I think this is a solid pick, but the injury and age problems with Wilson may make the Raiders regret this selection in the future.

35. Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame – A Grade
The Raiders lost their top two tight ends from last year, including Darren Waller, who was traded to the Giants. They had a huge void at the position, but that’s no longer the case. Michael Mayer is a steal here, as he could have gone in the late teens or early 20s without any complaints.

70. Byron Young, DT, Alabama – B Grade
The Raiders really needed a defensive tackle because Jerry Tillery is currently slated to start there. Byron Young is an undersized player, which is why he wasn’t going higher than this, but he’s a talented player who should have a role in the Raider defense. This is a solid, but not great pick.

100. Tre Tucker, WR, Cincinnati – C- Grade
Tre Tucker is an undersized slot receiver. I’m not sure where he fits into the Raiders’ offense with Hunter Renfrow holding the position. This range isn’t terrible for Tucker, but I don’t like the fit for a pick this early.

104. Jakorian Bennett, CB, Maryland – B- Grade
The Raiders obviously needed a cornerback and could have taken Christian Gonzalez at No. 7 overall. Jakorian Bennett was a steady corner at Maryland, but might be limited to slot duties in the NFL. I think the Raiders could have gotten a better corner, but this pick is OK.

135. Aidan O’Connell, QB, Purdue – A- Grade
Josh McDaniels said he wanted a quarerback for the long haul, so here he is. Aidan O’Connell has a good arm and really improved his accuracy last year. I like this pick, as I had O’Connell going 24 selections earlier.

170. Christopher Smith, S, Georgia – B Grade
The Raiders snatched a Georgia player away from the Eagles. Christopher Smith was very productive at Georgia, but possesses limited athleticism and upside. Still, he could emerge as a starter down the road.

203. Amari Burney, LB, Florida – A Grade
The Raiders have had issues at linebacker for a long time, so perhaps Amari Burney will be able to help. Burney is an excellent coverage linebacker, so I thought he should have gone a couple of rounds earlier than this.

231. Nesta Jade Silvera, DT, Arizona State – B+ Grade
Nesta Jade Silvera is solid in run support, but needs to improve his pass-rushing ability. Having him around to help versus the rush will help in some matchups. He might be able to make the final roster.

Season Summary:
The Raiders had high expectations entering 2022, given that they made the playoffs the year before and were able to acquire Davante Adams during the spring. They blew so many leads this past season, however, finishing with a very disappointing 6-11 record.

Offseason Moves:
  • Raiders sign G Greg Van Roten
  • Raiders sign QB Brian Hoyer
  • Raiders sign WR DeAndre Carter
  • Raiders sign DT John Jenkins
  • Raiders sign S David Long
  • Raiders sign CB Duke Shelley
  • Raiders sign TE Austin Hooper
  • Raiders sign WR Cam Sims
  • Raiders sign TE O.J. Howard
  • Raiders sign LB Robert Spillane
  • Raiders sign WR Phillip Dorsett
  • Giants acquire TE Darren Waller from Raiders for draft pick
  • Raiders sign WR Jakobi Meyers
  • Raiders sign CB Brandon Facyson
  • Raiders sign S Marcus Epps
  • Raiders sign QB Jimmy Garoppolo

    Team Needs:
    1. Quarterback: The Raiders have moved on from Derek Carr. They’re built to win now, so they’d love to bring in a veteran to pilot this team to a potential Super Bowl. Signed Jimmy Garoppolo and Brian Hoyer

    2. Two Linebackers: Las Vegas also needs a quarterback in the middle of its defense. Linebacker is a big need, especially if Denzel Perryman leaves via free agency. Signed Robert Spillane

    3. Guard: Better offensive line play is needed for the team’s new quarterback. Finding an upgrade at guard will be crucial. Signed Greg Van Roten

    4. Defensive Tackle: Las Vegas had one of the worst run defenses in the NFL last year. Better play is needed in the interior of the defensive line. Signed John Jenkins

    5. Running Back: Josh Jacobs is a free agent, so he’ll need to be re-signed or replaced. Franchised Josh Jacobs

    6. Right Tackle: Jermaine Eluemunor had a breakout 2022 season, but he’s scheduled to hit the open market this spring.

    7. Cornerback: Rock Ya-Sin is an impending free agent who will need to be retained or replaced. Signed Duke Shelley and Brandon Facyson

    8. Safety: Duron Harmon is another key free agent-to-be come March. Signed Marcus Epps and David Long

    9. Wide Receiver: Some depth will be needed if Mack Hollins leaves via free agency. Signed Jakobi Meyers, DeAndre Carter and Phillip Dorsett

    10. Defensive End Depth: The Raiders have two potent edge rushers, but they need depth, especially if they lose Clelin Ferrell.

      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    2023 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers. Age: 31.
      Signed with Raiders (3 years, $67.5 million)

      Jimmy Garoppolo has proven that he can make multiple deep trips into the playoffs with a great supporting cast around him. The problem with him is his durability. He has played just one full season in his career.

    2. Jakobi Meyers, WR, Patriots. Age: 26.
      Signed with Raiders (3 years, $33 million)

      Jakobi Meyers has been able to gel with every quarterback with whom he has been paired. He’s a very reliable possession receiver. The problem is that he’s been used as a No. 1 in New England when he’d be better off as a No. 2 option.

    3. Robert Spillane, LB, Steelers. Age: 27.
      Signed with the Raiders (2 years, $9 million)

      Robert Spillane is a solid two-down linebacker who excels in run support. He’s a liability in coverage, however.

    4. Duke Shelley, CB, Vikings. Age: 26.
      Signed with Raiders

      Minnesota found something in Duke Shelley late in the year. He’s young, but undersized, so it remains to be seen if he can continue his solid play.

    5. Marcus Epps, S, Eagles. Age: 27. — Signed with Raiders
    6. Austin Hooper, TE, Titans. Age: 28. — Signed with Raiders
    7. David Long, S, Rams. Age: 25. — Signed with Raiders
    8. DeAndre Carter, WR, Chargers. Age: 30. — Signed with Raiders
    9. Greg Van Roten, G, Bills. Age: 33. — Signed with Raiders
    10. Brandon Facyson, CB, Colts. Age: 28. — Signed with Raiders
    11. Phillip Dorsett, WR, Texans. Age: 30. — Signed with Raiders
    12. John Jenkins, DT, Dolphins. Age: 34. — Signed with Raiders
    13. O.J. Howard, TE, Texans. Age: 28. — Signed with Raiders
    14. Cam Sims, WR, Redskins. Age: 27. — Signed with Raiders

    Las Vegas Raiders Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders. Age: 26.
      Franchised by Raiders

      Josh Jacobs emerged as one of the top running backs in the NFL last year. He led the league in rushing and was a reliable receiving threat.

    2. Derek Carr, QB, Raiders. Age: 32.
      Signed with Saints

      Derek Carr has been a mediocre NFL starting quarterback for some time. He has posted great numbers at times, but never seems to come through in the clutch. Carr also cried during a post-game press conference and later abandoned the team after he was benched at the end of the year.

    3. Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Raiders. Age: 27.
      Signed with Ravens (1 year)

      Rock Ya-Sin hasn’t played a full season in his career, missing 10 games in the past two years. It’s a shame because he’s a talented cornerback.

    4. Jermaine Eluemunor, OT, Raiders. Age: 28.
      Jermaine Eluemunor is coming off a breakout year in 2022. He was excellent at right tackle for the Raiders. We’ll have to see if this was a fluky season, but Eluemunor was great.

    5. Jakob Johnson, FB, Raiders. Age: 28.
      Re-signed with Raiders (1 year)

      Jakob Johnson is an excellent blocker. Josh Jacobs will miss him next year.

    6. Denzel Perryman, LB, Raiders. Age: 30.
      Signed with Texans

      Denzel Perryman isn’t very good in coverage, but he’s terrific when it comes to playing in run support. The Raiders were always much worse versus the run when he was out of the lineup.

    7. Duron Harmon, S, Raiders. Age: 32.
      Duron Harmon is coming off a strong season, particularly when in coverage. The downside is that he’s now 32, so he could be on the decline soon.

    8. Jordan Jenkins, DE/OLB, Raiders. Age: 29.
      Jordan Jenkins isn’t too far removed from an eight-sack season, but he missed all of 2022 with a torn ACL.

    9. Mack Hollins, WR, Raiders. Age: 29.
      Signed with Falcons (1 year, $2.5 million)

      Mack Hollins is coming off his best season, catching 57 passes for 690 yards and four touchdowns. He had some solid performances when other players were injured.

    10. Jarrett Stidham, QB, Raiders. Age: 27.
      Signed with Broncos (2 years, $10 million)

      Jarrett Stidham played so well in a Week 17 battle against the 49ers that he deserves a two-star rating. There’s a chance this could have been a fluke, but Stidham deserves to be able to compete for a job.

    11. Clelin Ferrell, DE, Raiders. Age: 26.
      Signed with 49ers (1 year)

      Clelin Ferrell has been a huge bust as the former No. 4 overall pick, but perhaps he still has potential. He has totaled just 10 sacks in his career thus far.

    12. Jayon Brown, LB, Raiders. Age: 28.
      Jayon Brown had some great seasons earlier in his career, but has gotten worse for some reason in recent years.

    13. Foster Moreau, TE, Raiders. Age: 26. — Signed with Saints
    14. Andrew Billings, DT, Raiders. Age: 28. — Signed with Bears (1 year)
    15. Sidney Jones, CB, Raiders. Age: 27. — Signed with Bengals
    16. Jerry Tillery, DT, Raiders. Age: 26. — Re-signed with Raiders
    17. Alex Bars, G, Raiders. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Raiders
    18. Anthony Averett, CB, Raiders. Age: 28.
    19. Kyle Peko, DT, Raiders. Age: 30.
    20. Matthias Farley, S, Raiders. Age: 31.
    21. Keelan Cole, WR, Raiders. Age: 30. — Re-signed with Raiders
    22. Isaac Rochell, DE, Raiders. Age: 28.
    23. Micah Kiser, LB, Raiders. Age: 28.
    24. Tashawn Bower, DE, Raiders. Age: 28.
    25. Harvey Langi, LB, Raiders. Age: 30.
    26. Jackson Barton, OT, Raiders. Age: 28.

    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
    QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors

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