The Las Vegas Raiders are building in the right direction. A 5-4 finish to the 2023 season under interim head coach Antonio Pierce was enough for the Raiders to name him the full-time man in charge. But now, they have to keep the momentum going. Las Vegas wanted to find a quarterback with the 13th overall pick, but the well dried up before they had the chance to select one. But, they still left the draft with a haul that includes Brock Bowers, Jackson Powers-Johnson, and Dylan Laube. Those three picks constituted the best moves the Raiders made during the 2024 NFL Draft.

Drafting Brock Bowers

Brock Bowers is not a quarterback. He isn't a corner either, which may have been the biggest non-quarterback need for this team heading in the draft. The Raiders also drafted a tight end in the early second round in Michael Mayer a year ago. They certainly didn't need to take another one with their first pick, yes.

But Bowers is worth it. After Marivn Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers, he was arguably the best skill position player in this draft. Those two receivers, who went fourth and sixth overall respectively, were the only players from this year's class to post a higher career yards per route run average than the former Georgia Bulldog.

Bowers does not get the deep shots that those two receive, but he makes up for it by being an absolute menace with the ball in his hands. He averaged 8.5 yards after the catch per reception for his career. For comparison's sake, Harrison Jr. and Nabers' averages in that department were 6.4 and 6.6, respectively. Bowers is a locomotive on the gridiron.

Teams would love to have talent and fit align with their top picks, but sometimes that's not how the board falls. The Raiders followed the best player available philosophy with this selection. With how good Bowers is, it's hard to fault them, or any team who wound up choosing him.

Drafting Jackson Powers-Johnson

Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson (58) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Mountain America Stadium.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tight end was not a big need for the Raiders entering this year's draft, but the offensive line was. The Raiders addressed that in the second round by selecting Oregon's Jackson Powers-Johnson.

Powers-Johnson was outstanding manning the interior of the Ducks' line during his college career. He spent most of his career at center and right guard and was excellent at both spots. He only allowed three pressures for his career and not a single sack.

The Raiders could certainly use some help up front. They were neither great nor putrid there a year ago. Las Vegas ranked 15th in pass block win rate and 18th in run block win rate in 2023 according to They also allowed only 40 sacks a year ago, which was tied with three other teams (the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers) for the 12th-fewest in the league.

But, bolstering that unit is always a smart move. Powers-Johnson should start immediately and be a big contributor. Getting him in the second round was outstanding value.

Drafting Dylan Laube

New Hampshire running back Dylan Laube is a sleeper to watch out for with this year's Raiders draft class. Laube is one of the better pass-catching running backs from the 2024 class. He hauled in 68 receptions last season and 49 in 2022 and averaged 9.94 yards per reception in that span. Laube even got some reps at wide receiver at the Senior Bowl and impressed in that role.

Laube may be an instant upgrade over anybody on the Raiders' roster as their pass-catching back. Alexander Mattison, who Vegas signed in the wake of Josh Jacobs' departure, has averaged just 7.2 yards per reception for his career. Zamir White, who emerged as a capable starter after Jacobs got injured last season, has a career yards per reception average of 6.5.

There's a role for Laube to fill immediately. He may be an older player from a small school, but he can play. Keep an eye on him.