Qb-Needy Raiders Might Try To Trade Up From 13Th Spot In The Nfl Draft

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) goes through passing drills during LSU's NCAA football pro day in Baton Rouge, La., Wednesday, March 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) goes through passing drills during LSU's NCAA football pro day in Baton Rouge, La., Wednesday, March 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Raiders coach Antonio Pierce has made no secret of his affection for LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels and how much he would love to bring him to Las Vegas.

Pierce successfully recruited Daniels to Arizona State, telling the young prospect that he would win the Heisman Trophy. Daniels did just that — after transferring to LSU for the 2023 season.

“One thing about him that I think separates (him) is his ability to run,” Pierce said. "When you can run like that in (the) SEC and put up those kind of numbers, I think that translates very well.”

As much as Pierce would love to draft Daniels or Caleb Williams or Drake Maye, it's doubtful he'll get that chance. The Raiders select 13th, and it's unlikely one of the top three teams is going to give away its chance to draft potentially a franchise-changing quarterback just because Las Vegas wants to trade up.

Las Vegas needs a QB, or the Raiders will have Aidan O'Connell and Gardner Minshew fighting it out for the starting spot. It's possible the Raiders will pick a player such as Bo Nix or Michael Penix Jr. in the first round or wait until the second day to see if either is available.

The Raiders need a strong answer at that position in an AFC West that includes Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert.


If the Raiders are aggressive in trading up to get a quarterback, it will go against first-year general manager Tom Telesco's track record in the draft.

In 11 years as the Chargers GM, he made just two draft-day trades. Telesco moved up two spots in 2016 to select running back Melvin Gordon and in 2020 traded into the first round to pick up linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr.

He did take six players in the first round who went on to become Pro Bowlers. Telesco was particularly adept and finding quality players who fell in the draft, such as safety Derwin James at No. 17 in 2018.

His choice of Herbert with the sixth overall pick in 2020 could give Raiders fans hope Telesco will make the right decision regarding the quarterback. There were questions of whether Herbert was a system quarterback at Oregon, but he has been the division's best QB not named Mahomes.

Telesco said at the NFL scouting combine he most values leadership and toughness when evaluating quarterbacks.

“He’s got to be somebody that when you’re in the huddle and those 10 other players are looking you in the eyes, that you can lead that group,” Telesco said. “You’ve got to have that.”


In addition to a franchise quarterback, the Raiders have major questions on the right side of the offensive line with tackle Jermaine Eluemunor having signed with the Giants and right guard Greg Van Roten on a free-agency tour. Las Vegas boosted its interior defensive line with a splashy signing of Christian Wilkins, but another tackle wouldn't hurt. The Raiders also could use help at cornerback, especially with Amik Robertson moving on to the Lions.


Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers lead a receivers group deep enough to allow the Raiders to say goodbye to Hunter Renfrow. Center to left tackle on the offensive line provide a level of comfort even if a new quarterback takes over. Running back Zamir White's play over the final four weeks last season made it easier to let Josh Jacobs leave. The Raiders defense finished the season strong, and ends Maxx Crosby and Malcolm Koonce, linebackers Robert Spillane and Divine Deablo and several quality defensive backs return.


The Raiders choose 13th after going 8-9 last season.


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