The NFL Scouting Combine is in the books, but scouts are still poring over the data and notes to see which prospects deserve more attention heading into Pro Day workouts. Though a workout conducted in a t-shirt and shorts should not overshadow a player's performance in games, it is essential to pay close attention to the top performers in Indianapolis as part of a comprehensive pre-draft process.
After taking a few days to study the "best of the best" at the NFL Scouting Combine, here are five prospects that could land on the Raiders' radar:
1. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
The most natural passer in the 2023 class put on a show in front of a legion of coaches and scouts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Stroud dazzled with his pinpoint accuracy on various throws at various ranges throughout the workout. In addition, the Ohio State product displayed the refined mechanics and footwork that routinely translate into high-level performance and production from the position. With scouts also raving about Stroud's football IQ and quiet confidence, the aspiring QB1 has a chance to move up the charts following his strong performance in Indianapolis.
2. Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
The star of the NFL Scouting Combine has squarely landed on the Raiders' – and everyone's – radar after a spectacular performance on the turf. Richardson blazed the turf like a wideout (4.43-second 40-yard dash) while measuring in like a linebacker (6-foot-4, 244 pounds) with pogo-like hops (40.5-inch vertical jump; 10-foot-9 broad jump). The impressive athletic exhibition has led to comparisons to former NFL MVP Cam Newton. Although Richardson's limited experience (13 career starts) and inconsistencies as a passer are a concern, Josh McDaniels and Co. could find the five-star talent intriguing as a developmental prospect with franchise quarterback potential.
3. Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
The blue-collar pass rusher might have rewritten the narrative surrounding his game with his sensational performance at the Combine. Van Ness posted impressive numbers in the 40-yard dash (4.58 seconds) and pro agility shuttle (4.32 seconds) while displaying outstanding balance, body control and burst in positional drills. As a natural pass rusher with a non-stop motor, Van Ness has the tools that defensive coordinators covet in a disruptive playmaker on the edges.
4. Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor
The super-sized defensive tackle could intrigue the Raiders after showing better-than-anticipated movement skills and agility in positional drills. The 6-foot-3, 335-pounder flashes outstanding balance, body control and pop while navigating the bag drills designed to assess his pass rusher/run stopper skills. Although the exercises fall short of replicating his responsibilities on the field, the Baylor standout could be the immovable object the Raiders need to help the run defense in 2023.
5. Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
The extra-large cover corner put together a workout performance that should send his draft stock soaring heading into Pro Day season. Banks flashed the speed and explosiveness that every defensive coordinator covets – his 4.35-second 40-yard dash time ranks as one of the fastest among the position group. In addition, the Maryland standout popped a series of impressive jumps (42-inch vertical jump; 11-foot-4 broad jump) that gives a chance to win 50-50 balls against big-bodied pass catchers on the perimeter. With Banks also displaying quick feet and fluid hips for a "big" corner, the Raiders could take a comprehensive look at the intriguing cover corner.
View photos of draft prospects at the 2023 NFL Combine whom top analysts are predicting the Raiders may pick at No. 7.