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Raiders Mailbag: Sleeper prospects to wake up on heading into 2024 NFL Draft

Karl Reed from Texas asks:

"What about drafting the quarterback not a lot of people are talking about: Florida State's Jordan Travis? This kid is the QB sleeper of this draft."

Before suffering a broken leg against North Alabama back in November, Jordan Travis was projected to be one of the top quarterbacks taken in the 2024 NFL Draft. Nevertheless, let's not forget how dynamic of a player he proved to be before that injury.

It hasn't been an easy road for the Florida State quarterback heading into the draft, while he's rehabbing his leg injury in hopes of returning by Training Camp. Despite missing the last three games of the Seminoles 2023 season, he won ACC Player of the Year with 20 touchdowns in the air and seven on the ground. He helped lead his team to an 11-0 record while being ranked fourth in the nation at the time of his injury. He ranks second all-time in school history in passing yards (8,644) and passing touchdowns (65), right between Heisman Trophy winners Chris Weinke and Jameis Winston.

His dual-threat abilities is also exactly what Antonio Pierce said he envisions in his ideal quarterback, with Travis rushing for 32 touchdowns while at Florida State.

"A damn runner, Michael Vick. Vick, [Donovan] McNabb, all those guys because it's 11-on-11," Antonio Pierce said at the Annual League Meeting describing his ideal toughest quarterback to defend. "I like the Tom Brady's, the Peyton Manning's of the world, you sit there and throw that marker down and he's still there. But when that marker starts moving and now I'm in coverage, do I come out? Do I stay with my guy in zone coverage? Do I turn my back, go plaster as we call it and find the nearest receiver? Those guys are always difficult man, the guys that move around."

During his media availability, Pierce also stated he's not interested in rushing along a rookie quarterback's development. "Do you want to throw him into the fire? No. I don't think that's been the best way," said Piece. That being said, Travis could have a lot of upside once he's ready to fully return from his injury.

Richard Green from Manchester, United Kingdom asks:

"Surely we must be looking at right tackle with the 13th pick now the first wave of free agency has finished?"

It would be a wise decision if the Silver and Black looked for players in the trenches with their first-round pick.

With the departure of Jermaine Eluemunor to the New York Giants, the Raiders are searching for another right tackle to compete with Thayer Munford Jr. for the starting job. Landing a quality player to play opposite of Kolton Miller would be beneficial for Luke Getsy as he's in the process of establishing his offense.

Several mock drafts have the Raiders linked to offensive tackles Taliese Fuaga from Oregon State and Alabama's JC Latham – with Pierce saying he was in attendance for Latham's Pro Day in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It's worth noting that Fuaga didn't surrender a sack his entire collegiate career, according to Pro Football Focus.

Dale McSwain from Mississippi asks:

"Should CB or O-Line be our top priority now in the draft?"

Looking at the situation, I honestly wouldn't prioritize one position group over the other. Both seem evenly imperative to the Raiders' success.

It's no secret they'll be going after the two positions in the draft. Both Antonio Pierce and Tom Telesco have stated their desire to amplify both of these position groups. Another cornerback to pair with Jack Jones and Nate Hobbs could make for a breakout year for the Raiders secondary as a whole, while fortifying the offensive line is just as key to creating opportunities for Zamir White, Alexander Mattison and Davante Adams just to name a few.

The Raiders are in a good spot considering that these two position groups of need are relatively deep within this draft class. If they don't choose to go offensive line in the first round, there are still quality players projected to be available on Day 2 – including Oregon's Jackson Powers-Jackson and Oklahoma's Tyler Guyton, who stood out at the Senior Bowl.

Realistically speaking, there are four of five cornerbacks that are considered worthy of going No. 13 to the Raiders. Toledo's Quinyon Mitchell has dominated the pre-draft process at the Combine and at the Senior Bowl, with six career interceptions. Clemson's Nate Wiggins and Alabama duo Kool-Aid McKinstry and Terrion Arnold also seem like valid options.

The Las Vegas Raiders partnered with TruFusion to host athletes from a variety of position groups for Raiders ELITE Academy at HQ to work through drills and character development with Raiders players and alumni.

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