The Cardinals made three trades during the draft’s first 33 picks, moving down twice and climbing up to land Paris Johnson. The middle trade came together late, with the Cardinals’ late offer evidently stopping the Lions from making a shocking pick — Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 6 overall.
Before GM Monti Ossenfort made a successful trade proposal to Detroit counterpart Brad Holmes, the rookie Arizona front office boss made an offer to the Raiders. The GMs discussed the No. 7 overall pick in a deal that would have moved the Raiders down to No. 12, NBC Sports’ Peter King reports. Arizona’s proposal would have sent Las Vegas the No. 33 overall pick, it appears, which would have given the Raiders three picks between Nos. 12 and 38.
Although the Raiders met with this draft class’ top five quarterbacks, Josh McDaniels said just before the draft (per King, granted war-room access) the Raiders had four non-quarterback prospects targeted at No. 7, but the team mulled the Cardinals’ offer for the pick. As McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler considered the move down to 12, the Cardinals ended up making the trade with the Lions.
The Raiders ended up with Texas Tech defensive end Tyree Wilson at 7, but King adds McDaniels pondered the prospect of the team adding draft capital and then selecting Oklahoma tackle Anton Harrison at No. 12. The Raiders were high on both Harrison and Johnson, which makes the draft route they ended up taking rather interesting. Not only did the Silver and Black not select a tackle over the weekend, they did not draft any offensive linemen. Harrison ended up 27th overall to the Jaguars.
Vegas made a move up at No. 35 to select Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer, and by the time Round 3 ended, the Raiders had added both Mayer and wide receiver Tre Tucker. (The Raiders had attempted to trade back into Round 1 with Mayer in mind, per King, who adds the Chiefs discussed No. 31 with their rivals briefly.) They have now used two premium picks on pass catchers and gave Jakobi Meyers $16MM fully guaranteed. As of now, the Raiders would be set to field an offensive line consisting entirely of players on the 2022 roster. Though, the team did re-sign Brandon Parker, a tackle who missed last season due to injury. While considerable doubt existed about the Raiders’ O-line going into last season, the blockers helped Josh Jacobs become the first Raider to win the rushing title since Marcus Allen in 1985. Pro Football Focus rated Las Vegas’ O-line 10th last season, though McDaniels’ Harrison reference points to the team targeting that position.
Regarding the player the Raiders took in Round 1, teams voiced concerns regarding the talented pass rusher’s injury past. The Raiders are one of the teams to clear Wilson medically, Ziegler confirmed, joining the Cardinals and Texans (likely among others). Not all teams cleared the former Big 12 standout. Several teams said, via the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora, they would not have taken Wilson due to the Lisfranc fracture that ended his senior Red Raiders season. Wilson, who also dealt with back trouble last year, needed two surgeries to repair the fracture.
“Our board was right. We needed three quarterbacks to go, and we’re so happy we got one of the four non-quarterbacks who were our top-rated guys on the board,” McDaniels said (via King) in the war room after the team chose Wilson. “Look, we gotta rush the passer. We gotta go get [Patrick] Mahomes and [Justin] Herbert. That’s four games a year for the next few years against these great young quarterbacks. And the AFC is full of these great young quarterbacks. This is a great outcome for us.”
The Raiders have Maxx Crosby signed long term, and while Chandler Jones‘ $17MM-per-year deal runs through 2024, it is certainly possible the team moves on from the former All-Pro after this season. Jones’ guarantees only cover this season. Wilson will mix in with the veterans this season but could be Crosby’s top bookend soon.