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Top NFL draft prospects for Raiders to consider

Updated December 1, 2023 - 5:45 pm

If the NFL season ended today, the Raiders would pick 11th in the first round of the draft. Here are the top prospects at each position:

Quarterback

Caleb Williams, Southern California: The 6-foot-1-inch, 218-pound junior (3,633 passing yards, 3o touchdowns, five interceptions, 11 rushing touchdowns) is one of the most tantalizing talents in recent memory, equipped with elite arm strength, touch and maneuverability in and out of the pocket. But struggles under pressure indicate he’s far from the perfect prospect he was touted to be.

Other top prospects: Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (Louisiana State), Bo Nix (Oregon), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan).

Offensive line

Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State: Standing 6-6 and weighing 317 pounds, the senior left tackle didn’t yield a sack this season amid 11 pressures during 382 pass-blocking snaps. As a junior, he didn’t allow one in 299 pass-blocking snaps.

Other top prospects: Joe Alt (Notre Dame), JC Latham (Alabama), Taliese Fuaga (Oregon), Amarius Mims (Georgia).

Running back

Braelon Allen, Wisconsin: A bruising runner at 6-2, 245 pounds, the junior doesn’t turn 20 until January and represents one of the youngest prospects in the draft. He tallied 3,494 yards in his three years in Madison, averaging 5.9 yards per carry and accounting for 35 touchdowns.

Other top prospects: Will Shipley (Clemson), TreVeyon Henderson (Ohio State), Blake Corum (Michigan), Donovan Edwards (Michigan).

Wide receiver

Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State: Perhaps the best overall draft-eligible prospect, Harrison’s play and production (67 receptions, 1,211 yards, 14 touchdowns) matches his pedigree and could revitalize an offense the moment he arrives. Standing 6-4 and weighing 205 pounds, the junior combines speed, route-running, physicality and ball skills as one of the most complete receiver prospects in the past 25 years.

Other top prospects: Malik Naybers (LSU), Keon Coleman (Florida State), Rome Odunze (Washington), Emeka Egbuka (Ohio State).

Tight end

Brock Bowers, Georgia: The 6-4, 24o-pound junior is at the head of the tight end class as one of the top positional prospects in the past several years. A deft, physical blocker and even better receiver, Bowers in three years tallied 2,485 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns — including 661 yards and six touchdowns this season despite missing three games with an injured ankle.

Other top prospects: Ja’Tavion Sanders (Texas), Cade Stover (Ohio State).

Edge rusher

Laiatu Latu, UCLA: The 6-5, 265-pound senior tallied 13 sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions in 2023, pairing his speed and strength with a deep array of moves that should translate to the professional level. Latu also had 10½ sacks last season.

Other top prospects: Jared Verse (Florida State), Dallas Turner (Alabama), JT Tuimoloau (Ohio State), Chop Robinson (Penn State).

Defensive tackle

Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois: A junior standing 6-2 and 295 pounds, Newton worked his way to 7½ sacks this season — up from 5½ a year ago. His strength and technique make him effective as a pass rusher and run stuffer despite his lack of prototypical size.

Other top prospects: Leonard Taylor (Miami), Kris Jenkins (Michigan), Maason Smith (LSU), Ruke Orhorhoro (Clemson).

Linebacker

Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Clemson: Speedy and sturdy at 6 feet and 230 pounds, the rangy junior tallied 88 tackles — including 15 for loss — to go with 5½ sacks, two interceptions and a pick-six this season. He’s effective in coverage and as a blitzer, boasting the skill set required of the modern linebacker.

Other top prospects: Barrett Carter (Clemson), Smael Mondon Jr. (Georgia), Junior Colson (Michigan), Edgerrin Cooper (Texas A&M).

Cornerback

Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama: With prototypical positional size (6-1, 195) and fluid technique on the perimeter, McKinstry was hardly targeted as a junior in 2023. He blends physicality with ball skills and can play on the inside or outside, a bonus in the modern NFL in which top receivers line up all over the field.

Other top prospects: Nate Wiggins (Clemson), Cooper DeJean (Iowa), Kamari Lassiter (Georgia), Kalen King (Penn State).

Safety

Kamren Kinchens, Miami: A ballhawk who can play the run, the 6-foot, 205-pound junior tallied 59 tackles and five interceptions during an esteemed junior year for the Hurricanes. Kinchens is fast, physical and as determined to tackle as he is to cover, battling through an early-season neck injury to showcase his skills this season.

Other top prospects: Tyler Nubin (Minnesota), Javon Bullard (Georgia), Calen Bullock (USC), James Williams (Miami).

Contact Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on X.

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