The Las Vegas Raiders head into the 2024 NFL Draft with plenty of needs all over the field, but quarterback remains the biggest issue. While there may be a temptation to trade up for LSU QB Jayden McDaniels, the Raiders need to avoid doing so this year. Here is why they should pass on this signal-caller as well as two other players at positions of need.

QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

New full-time head coach Antonio Pierce knows Jayden McDaniels well. When the former New York Giants linebacker was the defensive coordinator/assistant head coach for the Arizona State Sun Devils, he recruited Daniels to the school.

McDaniels had to leave ASU for the SEC to have his breakout season, but it seems like Pierce still loves the QB.

The Raiders need a signal-caller in the 2024 NFL Draft. Aidan O’Connell was decent at times last season, but he doesn’t seem like a no-doubt NFL QB1 by any means. Teams in this league are only as good as their starting QBs, and Las Vegas needs one as badly as anyone.

After not taking place in the free agency QB carousel, the Raiders now must take one in the draft. And, in a vacuum, taking Daniels is not a bad play at all with his potential. Sure, he was a one-year wonder in his fifth season and he may weigh under 200 pounds, but he’s still one of the top prospects in this year’s draft.

The problem is, Daniels is likely going No. 2 to the Washington Commanders or No. 3 to the New England Patriots or a team that trades up. In order to get that high from No. 13, the Raiders would have to give up a ton, including next year’s first-round selection and maybe even their 2026 one.

That’s simply too much to part with for Jayden Daniels, especially when they should definitely be able to get Michael Penix Jr. at 13 or even if they trade back.

CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

Clemson Tigers cornerback Nate Wiggins (2) smiles after breaking up a pass to South Carolina wide receiver Nyck Harbor (8) during the fourth quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. Clemson won 16-7.
Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

The nameplate on the owner’s door now reads Mark instead of Al Davis, but one thing that is still true is that the Raiders love speed. In fact, you can still say they are suckers for it.

From Al drafting Darius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin to Mark taking Henry Ruggs over CeeDee Lamb and Justin Jefferson, the franchise has often gone with the player with the best 40 times over the players with better college tape.

This year, that player the Raiders may fall in love with is Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins, who ran a 4.28-second 40 at the NFL combine, which was second-fastest only to Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy’s 4.21.

Vegas needs a cornerback for sure and could go with one using their first-round pick. If they do, they should avoid the Wiggins temptation and go with one of the better corners on the board.

At 13, the Raiders should have their pick of CB prospects like Alabama’s Terrion Arnold or Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell (who ran a pretty blazing 4.33). Both these CBs have a better physical makeup and better production than Wiggins, which is why the Raiders should avoid falling into their most common draft-day trap.

OT Olu Fashanu, Penn State

If not quarterback or cornerback, the Raiders could go offensive line with their first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

After years of struggling up front, the Las Vegas line actually came together nicely in 2023. According to PFF, the Raiders O-line was a top-10 unit, finishing 10th in their final rankings. Last year’s starting lineup was left tackle Kolton Miller, left guard Dylan Parham, center Andre James, right guard Greg Van Roten, and right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor.

This offseason, the Raiders brought everyone back except for Eluemunor, who signed with the New York Giants.

While Las Vegas has an internal replacement option in Thayer Munford Jr., drafting a right tackle would also make a lot of sense. The key phrase here, though is a RIGHT tackle.

Common wisdom for years in football has been that left tackles are better/more important than right tackles. It’s why that’s usually the position NFL teams draft in the first round. However, these days both tackles are equally important, although they are unique positions.

It’s no longer best practice to just throw a left tackle on the right side and hope he adapts. Teams that need a right tackle should draft a right tackle when there are similar prospects available at each position.

In the 2024 NFL Draft, Penn State LT Olu Fashanu is an athletic but raw prospect who could easily become a cornerstone left tackle for a team. After losing RT Jerome Eluemunor this offseason, the Raiders shouldn’t just take Fashanu because of his measurables and try to fit him on the right side, especially when there are some excellent RT prospects available.

Troy Fautanu from Washington, JC Latham from Alabama, and Taliese Fuaga from Oregon State would all make better picks for the Raiders than the Penn State tackle.