With the 2023 NFL Draft drawing closer to the day, various analysts and experts are beginning to unveil their latest mock draft predictions. While we’ve seen various iterations roll out over the past few weeks, these latest releases should be indicative of where each NFL team’s mind is at heading into night one on Thursday, April 27.
Ahead of the first round, several mock draft experts have listed their predictions for the Las Vegas Raiders. We’ll break down what each one is saying in regard to the Raiders’ first and second-round draft selections later this week.
First round consensus
Kiper/McShay dueling mock: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
Peter King: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
Matt Miller: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Ryan Wilson: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
PFF: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Adam Caplan: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
Chad Reuter: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
The Raiders currently hold the No. 7 overall pick in the draft, and the large consensus here is that they’ll use it to address their defense. The lone exception here is Matt Miller, who foresees Las Vegas (likely) trading up to draft Florida’s Anthony Richardson.
The Richardson selection makes sense if Vegas is high on Richardson’s upside, with the caveat that he sits and learns in year one. However, the Raiders’ 29th-ranked pass defense (242.9 YPG allowed) is in desperate need of a boost in young talent, hence the heavy consensus that they draft a corner.
Witherspoon and Gonzalez are the consensus 1a and 1b corners in this class, so it’ll likely come down to which one is on the board at seven.
Second round consensus
Las Vegas currently holds pick No. 38 of the second round, and it remains to be seen whether they want to trade up or down from this spot. Reuter sees them trading it away, which means they could opt to gather more draft capital and move down, or potentially use it in a swap to move back into the late first round (possibly to draft Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker?)
The rest of the mock draft experts are split between the Raiders taking an offensive lineman and possibly a defensive tackle and both paths make sense. Las Vegas needs some help in building an interior pass rush to complement Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones on the edge.
However, a tackle or a guard could make just as much sense too. The Raiders’ o-line finished last season ranked No. 10 in the eyes of PFF, but it was clear their makeshift group could use some added reinforcements with so many injuries impacting them last year.