The Las Vegas Raiders are keeping all their options open going into the 2023 NFL Draft.
Head Coach Josh McDaniels made that clear Monday morning at the Annual League Meetings in Phoenix, Arizona. This is McDaniels' second year attending the NFL meeting, with General Manager Dave Ziegler, President Sandra Douglass Morgan and Owner Mark Davis also in attendance.
The Silver and Black hold the seventh pick in the draft next month, but they haven't waited until the draft to improve their roster. After moving on from Derek Carr, the Raiders signed a new quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, who spent his first three NFL seasons with the New England Patriots, working under McDaniels. The team has also signed a few new offensive assets around Jimmy G including Jakobi Meyers, Phillip Dorsett, Austin Hooper and O.J. Howard.
"He's played a lot of big games, really performed well under pressure in a lot of those, and he's been in a really good winning culture," McDaniels said about the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback. "I'm excited to actually to learn from him and listen to him talk about the things he's learned because obviously we've been away for a little while.
"Getting to see him a couple of weeks ago, that was great, but looking forward to eventually get a chance to sit down when we can actually sit down and talk about football, and just kind of hear from his perspective where he's at and his growth and development and then trying to piece this thing together as we go forward."
Garoppolo and 2022 UDFA Chase Garbers are currently the only two quarterbacks on the roster, and McDaniels noted he's looking at every option imaginable to improve his team with his first-round pick, including the possibility of another quarterback.
"I think in terms of our roster, what we've tried to do is put ourselves in a position so we can actually draft the best player that we feel like is available at the time," said McDaniels. "We're open to anything. ... That's nothing new. But if that happened to be a quarterback, then it's a quarterback. If it happened to be a defensive lineman, it's a defensive lineman. If it happened to be a tight end, it's a tight end, you know what I mean?"
"We're doing our work on everybody and trying to do our due diligence on every spot in the draft," continued McDaniels. "We know we pick high in every round basically, so it's an opportunity that you hope you don't have a whole lot of, but we're going to try to take full advantage of if we can this year."
There's also been a few defensive signings to be optimistic about, including Marcus Epps, Duke Shelley, Robert Spillane and the return of Brandon Facyson. Ziegler, McDaniels and staff have also been able to re-sign some key contributors in Ameer Abdullah, Jermaine Eluemunor, Jakob Johnson and Jerry Tillery.
The hope for the Raiders is that all of the free agent signings co-exist with the draft class coming in soon. The Silver and Black currently possess 12 picks – the most of any team – and enter April with a huge emphasis on building a young, talented unit for years to come in Las Vegas.
"The draft is obviously important. We need to draft and put a good young core on our team that we drafted, we developed, and that we can continue to work with," McDaniels said. "We're a little deprived of that at the moment. But hopefully with this draft, we have a lot of picks. And I'd say going forward, if we can try to string together a few of those together, that's really the goal."
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View photos of all the Raiders' free agency additions and re-signed players headed into the 2023 season.