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Raiders Mailbag: Position of need, best player available or both with the No. 13 pick?

Autumn Bonner from Iowa asks:

"The Raiders need more speed at the wide receiver position. Could Meyers move to slot and we draft a No. 2 receiver to complement Adams?"

I wouldn't count out the progression of Tre Tucker just yet.

The receiver was drafted out of Cincinnati with the hopes he could stretch the field with his speed, which we certainly began to see toward the end of the season. Of his 331 receiving yards, 170 came in the last four games of the 2023 season, while also averaging nearly 18 yards a catch. Going into his second season, Tucker could very well cement himself as the starting outside receiver to Davante Adams.

Nevertheless, there's no shortage of speed and skill in the receivers coming out in the 2024 NFL Draft. While many people consider Fred Biletnikoff Award winner Marvin Harrison Jr. as the premier receiver in the class, LSU's Malik Nabers is just as explosive on tape – entering the draft with the most career receiving yards in the university's history. Despite not necessarily being "a need" for the Raiders at No. 13, he could be the best player available if the falls to that spot.

A couple of top receivers who could be a solid Day 2 or 3 selection are Michigan's Roman Wilson and Texas' Adonai Mitchell. Wilson had 12 receiving touchdowns in 2023 and dazzled at Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Alabama. As for Mitchell, he combines great speed with a 6-foot-4 frame – totaling 11 receiving touchdowns in 2023.

D Raiders Fan from Sacramento, California, asks:

"If there is no trade up to get a top quarterback, what position do you think is most in need at No. 13 & why?"

My opinion, aligning with a few mock drafts available, is that the Raiders could benefit by drafting in the trenches.

On the defensive side of the ball, opportunities abound for finding the right nose tackle or three technique to place inside Maxx Crosby and Malcolm Koonce. A strong push up front will only help the backfield, which looks promising heading into 2024 with Nate Hobbs, Jack Jones and Tre’von Moehrig. The top interior defensive linemen to keep an eye on are Texas' Byron Murphy II and Illinois' Jer'Zhan Newton, who both had 8.5 tackles for loss in 2023.

Both Head Coach Antonio Pierce and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy have been open about their desire to run the ball effectively. The construction of their backfield with Josh Jacobs (if he re-signs) and Zamir White warrants a physical offensive line to match their running styles. Oregon State's Taliese Fuaga fits the bill at right tackle, with a 90.9 run blocking grade from Pro Football Focus – the highest among all offensive tackles in this year's draft. Additionally, Fuaga didn't allow a sack in his three seasons as a Beaver.

It's also hard to automatically rule out the Raiders drafting a quarterback even if they don't trade up. Viable options at No. 13 are Heisman Trophy finalists Michael Penix and Bo Nix, who both had standout seasons in the Pac-12.

Penix lead the nation in passing yards (4,903) in 2023 and totaled 67 touchdowns in his two seasons at Washington. Nix, the reigning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, had a 45:3 touchdown to interception ratio while leading the nation in completion percentage (77.4)

Both of these quarterbacks, along with Murphy, Newton and Fuaga, were extended invitations to the NFL Scouting Combine next week in Indianapolis, Indiana, where all 32 teams will be able to get a closer look at the draft class.

View photos of the draft prospects that top analysts are predicting the Raiders may select at No. 13 overall. (Last updated Tuesday, February 27, 2024).

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