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Quarterback or defense at No. 7? Raiders fans have questions

Updated March 31, 2023 - 1:52 pm

The Raiders are full steam ahead on their draft process. Over the course of the next few weeks, general manager Dave Ziegler, assistant general manager Champ Kelly, coach Josh McDaniels and the scouting and coaching staffs will officially put together the Raiders’ draft board.

Armed with 12 picks, including the seventh overall and five among the top 109 selections, the Raiders are well positioned to make headway in improving their roster, specifically on defense, where a significant amount of attention will be focused.

Raiders fans eagerly await the draft, and they have plenty of questions ahead of one of the biggest weekends in recent franchise history.

Here is a sampling of what arrived in this week’s Raiders mailbag:

diamondking (@sray916): What is the most outrageous or unexpected pick you can see happening at number seven?

Vincent Bonsignore: With needs across the board, very little about the direction the Raiders take with the seventh pick would fall under the outrageous or unexpected category.

That said, given the strength of the Raiders’ running back and wide receiver position groups, it would be a surprise if they opted to pick up one of those players with their first pick overall.

Jordan Harter (@Jordan_Harter): Higher probability at pick number seven, a quarterback or defense?

VB: It would be a shock if the Raiders didn’t come away with a quarterback in this draft. And it would not shock anyone if they selected one with their seventh pick overall.

On the other hand, for that to happen the exact quarterback they are most in love with would have to fall to them at that pick. What are the chances of that happening? Probably unlikely, right?

However, with multiple impact defensive players available, there is a strong likelihood that one of the Raiders’ priority defensive players will be there at No. 7.

So defense, for sure.

MikE8 (@IJHFTC24): When is Josh McDaniels getting fired?

VB: It was pretty interesting meeting with owner Mark Davis this week in Arizona regarding the obvious disconnect between what Davis is thinking and what Raiders fans might be thinking as it relates to McDaniels.

To put it bluntly, barring some major tailspin in 2023, Davis is firmly in the corner of McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler, specifically as it relates to what he hired them to do, and the patience he will give them to get that job done.

Davis is preaching patience. That probably doesn’t jive with the fans, who are thirsty for a winner and have itchy trigger fingers when it comes to firing and hiring coaches.

Davis is wired the opposite of that and understands how important the element of time is in allowing something meaningful to be built.

Marc Charette (@mrcdrum): Why are there no Josh Jacobs extension talks?

VB: Probably ill-advised to read no public extension talk news with no extension talks happening.

marie brow (@mbcaron78): Do you get the sense that McDaniels believes he can coach up accuracy and mechanics? Most of his success has been with accurate quarterbacks, Also, if the Raiders go quarterback in round one, wouldn’t it have been better to sign Jacoby Brissett at a lower cost so they could have spent more money on free agency?

VB: As it relates to accuracy, it would probably have to be on a case-to-case basis.

In other words, if McDaniels believes the accuracy issues are a result of flawed mechanics that he believes can be corrected, no doubt he would think he and his staff could coach that player up. If it’s a matter of arm talent and vision, probably not.

The Raiders wanted to stabilize their quarterback position, albeit at a reduced cost from Derek Carr, with the Garoppolo signing. They believe they can win, right now, with him at quarterback and for the length of time it will take to acquire and develop their quarterback of the future.

There weren’t many other available quarterbacks who created that type of comfort level.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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