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Raiders Mailbag: The Silver and Black are almost on the clock

Blaise Rogers from Illinois asks:

"In the first round, should we go for defense or should we look to protect Jimmy G and get an OT?"

Depth on the offensive line has never hurt anyone. However, I truly believe the Raiders offensive line is better than many give them credit for.

Kolton Miller has developed into one of the best left tackles in all of football, with Jermaine Eluemunor having his best NFL season in 2022, earning a 76.1 pass blocking grade from Pro Football Focus. The team may expect second-year players Dylan Parham and Thayer Munford Jr. to make a leap coming out of their rookie seasons, and swing tackles Brandon Parker and Justin Herron to return from season-ending injuries.

At No. 7, the Raiders could choose to draft a defensive player that could immediately start and complement the likes of Maxx Crosby and Nate Hobbs. Cornerbacks Devon Witherspoon from Illinois or Christian Gonzalez from Oregon would be great selections that fill a need. It would also be difficult to overlook defensive linemen Tyree Wilson from Texas Tech or Jalen Carter from Georgia on the off chance they slide to seven.

Raul Suarez from Wisconsin asks:

"What are the chances the Raiders draft Clayton Tune from Houston?"

The Silver and Black may be looking to select a quarterback in the draft, but who said it would be in the first round?

When you look past the glitz and glam of Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis – there are still some good quarterbacks in this year's class who could be considered late-round steals. Tune is one of those guys.

The former Houston Cougar became the starting quarterback in 2019 and served as a team captain for his last three seasons. He's an experienced quarterback with nearly 12,000 career passing yards, 119 total touchdowns and four bowl game appearances. His accuracy has significantly improved over the years as well, going from completing 56.4 percent of his throws in his first three seasons to completing nearly 68 percent in his last two seasons.

His athleticism is also something to marvel at, with 544 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns in 2023. Additionally, he ranked in the top three among QBs in the vertical and broad jumps, 3-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle at the NFL Scouting Combine, boasting a 4.64 40-yard dash as well.

Kevin Cain from Ohio asks:

"Do you think the best case scenario for the Raiders would be to draft the best player available at No. 7, trade up and get the future quarterback or trade down acquire more draft capital and fix the defense?"

If you ask me, these are all the best case scenario.

If the Raiders decide to stay at seven, there will be more than enough great options on both sides of the ball to choose from. If they're still interested in getting a quarterback in the first round, they might not even need to trade up if Will Levis or Anthony Richardson slide. Nevertheless, if Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud are on their radar, they could trade with the Houston Texans or Arizona Cardinals up to No. 2 or 3 to select their potential signal-caller of the future. If they really want to shake things up, they could trade up and take Lombardi Award winner Will Anderson Jr. – allowing him and Crosby to wreak havoc on the entire AFC West.

Trading back for more draft capital wouldn't be a bad option either. Two first-round picks would be invaluable for a Raiders team looking to build depth at several positions on defense. If they trade back, Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell, Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. or defensive linemen Keion White from Georgia Tech and Northwestern's Adetomiwa Adebawore would all be superb options.

View photos of players arriving at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center for the start of the 2023 voluntary offseason program.

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