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The Las Vegas Raiders own the No. 7 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, but it appears they tried to move up before signing veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a three-year, $67.5 million deal.
According to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe and Tashan Reed, the Raiders explored trading for the No. 1 overall pick before the Chicago Bears traded it to the Carolina Panthers. They didn’t pull the trigger on a deal because they felt the price was too steep.
The Bears asked the Raiders for a 2023 first-round pick, 2023 second-round pick, two future first-round picks and a future second-round pick.
Chicago traded the No. 1 selection to the Panthers in exchange for wide receiver DJ Moore, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2023 second-round pick, a 2024 first-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick.
The Raiders likely explored trading up in the draft to have their choice of the top available quarterbacks, which include Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Kentucky’s Will Levis.
Of the four, it’s unclear which quarterback Las Vegas likes the most, though the best available could be off the board by the time the Raiders are on the clock with the No. 7 overall pick.
Even though the franchise signed Garoppolo, “nothing has eliminated the possibility” that it drafts a quarterback, though “it seems less likely they take that route,” according to The Athletic.
“The Raiders only view a few quarterbacks as worthy of being drafted that high, anyway, league sources said, and they can’t be sure they would be able to stay put at No. 7 and land one,” The Athletic wrote.
With Garoppolo, the Raiders know what they are getting: a seasoned veteran who has the capability to lead a team on a Super Bowl run—provided he stays healthy. Drafting and playing a rookie quarterback is riskier, especially if the team isn’t head-over-heels for the player.
Garoppolo is also reuniting with his former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who coached him with the New England Patriots from 2014 to 2016, in Las Vegas. If all goes well, the Raiders could be much improved in 2023.
It’s going to be interesting to see what the Raiders do with the seventh-overall pick. Will they draft a quarterback of the future? Or will they try to add some assets around Garoppolo?
Those will be some of the most intriguing questions as the draft inches closer.