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Raiders mailbag: Fans remain antsy about quarterback, draft plans

Updated March 22, 2024 - 3:03 pm

With the NFL draft just over a month away, Raiders fans are understandably antsy about the club’s direction, specifically at quarterback.

So, what is the Raiders’ plan? We try to address that in this week’s mailbag:

RaiderByNature (@Rva_Raiders83): Is trading up for a quarterback still a plan? Heard they were going to be aggressive, but it looks like there might not be a chance to.

Vincent Bonsignore: Without question, the Raiders are inquiring about the possibility of moving up in the draft, with picks No. 2 (Commanders) and No. 3 (Patriots) of particular interest. The connection to Louisiana State’s Jayden Daniels is real, and the Raiders would welcome a chance to move into position to get him.

That a trade has not happened yet is not an indicator that the ship has sailed on that possibility. Ideally, the Raiders can consummate a deal before the draft, but it might not happen until the day of. As much as the Raiders may want a deal to happen, they still have to convince another team to work with them.

Matt Berger (@matt_berger): If the Raiders stay put at pick No. 13, do they go offensive tackle or cornerback?

Bonsignore: Or quarterback, perhaps?

If it did come down to offensive tackle or cornerback, it feels like such a deep draft on the offensive line that maybe the Raiders can wait and address that position on the second day. There are some exceptional cornerbacks in this draft, and grabbing one of the elite defenders at 13 would go a long way in lifting what appears to be a very good defense even higher.

Eric Galvan (@eg720): The Raiders seem to be, um, methodical with free agency. While “winning free agency” doesn’t always translate to wins on the field, what does their plan appear to be? It’s extremely early, but they don’t appear to be a better team now than they were at the end of the season.

Bonsignore: Methodical is a good description, although the Raiders were aggressive in landing the best interior defensive lineman available — and arguably the best player overall in free agency — in Christian Wilkins. The defense is better on paper today than it was at the end of last season, even with the need to fortify the cornerback room. They also added one of the best backup quarterback options in Gardner Minshew. There is still work to do, but the needs are fairly narrow and there are options in free agency and the draft to address them.

Ed Helinski (@MrEd315): What would Al Davis think of today’s state of the Raiders? I’m sure he’d be happy they’ve relocated to Las Vegas, but is this team in the mold of his rough-and-tumble Raiders?

Bonsignore: He would not be happy with the performance on the field, although he would recognize some of the progress made the last few years on the personnel side. He would be ecstatic with the team’s financial health and the long-range strength it will provide in terms of competing with their colleagues on every level.

PJ (@1R8RNATN): Do you think it’s possible that we don’t draft a quarterback at all and just roll with Aidan O’Connell and Minshew while we continue the process of getting a franchise QB?

Bonsignore: Yes, albeit unlikely.

Johnny M (@Lijohnm1): Are you surprised we did not add another offensive lineman or corner in free agency? Is it realistic to think these needs can all be addressed in the draft?

Bonsignore: Yes, those positions can be addressed in the draft. But veteran players at both positions are still available on the open market. In the coming weeks and months, you will see more free agent additions.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore atvbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on X.

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