Skip to main content
Raider Nation, Stand Up - View Schedule - Presented by Allegiant
Presented By

Raiders Mailbag: Who might the Silver and Black be looking at with their first-round pick?

Carlton Warren from New Jersey asks:

"Is there a chance C.J. Stroud is our guy?"

There's certainly a chance, and in my opinion – Stroud is the best overall quarterback in this draft class.

While he's not labeled at being the best in one particular category, he's exceptional in every facet of the game. Good size, great ball placement, high football IQ to make sound decisions with the football and has enough athleticism to scramble out of collapsing pocket. Based off his college game film, he's perhaps the most NFL-ready quarterback in this draft class with two seasons as a starter in a pro-style offense.

After committing to play for Ohio State as a five-star prospect from Rancho Cucamonga, California, he threw for 8,123 yards and 85 touchdowns with a 21-4 record as a Buckeye. Additionally, he was a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist. Stroud said he had a productive conversation with the Raiders at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"[I] got to explain what my offense was, and they asked me about my athleticism, if I could do it at the next level," Stroud said of his encounter with Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler. "I told them, 'Yes, sir.' Had a great conversation with them. They asked me about some family stuff as well. Just being really honest and trying to build that relationship and that connection."

If Stroud is the Raiders guy, they might have to trade up. After a stellar showing at the Combine, his draft stock is continuing to rise, and it's hard to tell if he'll still be available when the Raiders are on the clock with the seventh pick.

Toronzo Paden from California asks:

"Should they take Joey Porter Jr. if he's there at No. 7?"

Joey Porter Jr. is an intriguing prospect with a huge upside.

He comes with NFL pedigree as his father, Joey Porter Sr., was one of the most dominant linebackers throughout the 2000s. While Porter Jr. plays a different defensive position than his All-Pro father, the same game-wrecking traits can be seen at cornerback.

The physicality he brings to the field could be considered his best trait, totaling 113 tackles and 20 pass deflections in four seasons at Penn State. He was also named the team's Most Valuable Defensive Player and First Team All-Big Ten in 2022. At Lucas Oil Stadium last week, he ran a 4.46 40-yard dash and posted the second-most reps among cornerbacks in the bench press.

Ziegler said defensive backs might be the deepest of any position in the draft, and Porter Jr. stands out as one of the best in this class. If the Raiders choose a defensive back with their seventh pick, Porter Jr., Christian Gonzalez from Oregon or Devon Witherspoon from Illinois could all be good options.

Donald Bostleman from California asks:

"Could the Raiders be interested in taking offensive linemen with the seventh pick?"

It's fair to think the Raiders could absolutely be interested in taking an offensive lineman.

While the quarterback position is a big need at the moment, taking one in a later round or acquiring through free agency or trade are also good options. No matter who's behind center Week 1 for the Raiders, bolstering their offensive line comes into play as well. If the team did decide to go with an offensive lineman in the firs -round, going for a right tackle or guard could improve their unit from the get-go.

Of the available options, Ohio State's Paris Johnson Jr., Northwestern's Peter Skoronski and Florida's O'Cyrus Torrence would be great fits. All three were named 2022 AP All-Americans in 2022.

The Las Vegas Raiders host ELITE Academy, a program offering experience to work with alumni and current players through character development, film study, position specific drills and field work.

Related Content