The 2023 NFL Draft is now in the past, and the Las Vegas Raiders addressed some needs, got some value, and in true Raiders fashion, took some risks that would make Al Davis proud. The Raiders selected nine players during the draft’s seven rounds, with solid results throughout. Here are the Raiders NFL draft grades for every pick in this year’s draft.
Las Vegas Raiders 2023 NFL Draft Grades
Round 1, pick 7: DE Tyree Wilson (Texas Tech)
The Raiders were in a tough spot at No. 7. The closest players in the 2023 NFL Draft to sure things — Will Anderson Jr. and Devon Witherspoon — were gone. They couldn’t really take Jalen Carter with their recent history of law-breaking first-round picks, and the offensive line prospects were shaky at best.
That left Texas Tech DE Tyree Wilson as the pick here, even though it is far from a guaranteed home run.
Wilson is incredibly impressive getting off the bus at a chiseled 6-foot-6, 271 pounds. However, he’s still pretty raw. It may take a year or two, but if Wilson develops into the player he looks like he could become, this will be a great selection.
Round 2, pick 35: TE Michael Mayer (Notre Dame)
Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer might be the steal of the 2023 NFL Draft where the Raiders took him at the top of the second round.
The tight end class was deep this year, and due to that, many teams passed on the position until later in the draft. This caused them all to fall a bit, and Mayer, who was often mocked to the Packers at Nos 13 or 15, slid to pick No. 35.
In Mayer, the Raiders get a player who isn’t the pass-catcher that recently traded TE Darren Waller is, but he may be a better all-around player at the position from Week 1.
Jimmy Garappolo loves a good TE, as he proved with George Kittle for years, so in addition to a great Raiders draft pick, Michael Mayer could be a nice pickup for your fantasy team as well.
Round 3, pick 70: DL Bryon Young (Alabama)
Defensive tackle was a major need in the 2023 NFL Draft, and Byron Young has the potential to be a good one. He is a traditional 3-technique who has some pass-rush upside along with his run-stuffing abilities. He was also a high-character leader on the Crimson Tide defense, which is always good to hear about a Raiders draft pick.
Round 3, pick 100: WR Tre Tucker (Cincinnati)
Tre Tucker is a speedy, undersized WR who will be able to do some things that Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, and Jakobi Meyers can’t do. The best wide receiver corps are like a basketball team, and Tre Tucker has the potential to be the small, speedy scoring guard.
Round 4, pick 104: CB Jakorian Bennett (Maryland)
The beauty was in the eye of the beholder (or at least the coordinator) in the 2023 NFL Draft in the deep and varied CB class. Jakorian Bennett is a solid player, seems to fit in the Raiders scheme, and went right around where he was projected. The only issue is that, of course, this Raiders draft pick has a lot of penalties last season.
Round 4, pick 135: QB Aidan O’Connell (Purdue)
Aidan O’Connell is an old-school statue pocket-passer. And the Raiders drafted him ahead of the smaller and scrappy Clayton Tune and the uber-athletic Dorian Thompson-Robinson. If O’Connell pans out, this could be a steal. If one of those QBs does, it will be a blunder. In the moment, it’s a worthwhile pick with some potential upside.
Round 5, pick 170: S Christopher Smith II (Georgia)
There isn’t anything all that special about Christopher Smith II except that he’s a winning player. He won a Georgia state championship in high school and two national championships with the Bulldogs. His scouting report might not jump out at you, but where Smith goes, winning usually follows.
Round 6, pick 203: LB Amari Burney (Florida)
Florida linebacker Amari Burney has great speed for a coverage LB and good enough wheels to play safety or a hybrid role in the pros. At worst, he should be a solid special teams player early on, so this gets a pretty high Raiders draft grade.
Round 7, pick 231: DT Nesta Jade Slivera (Arizona State)
Nesta Jade Slivera is a big run-stuffer who will start his career as a two-down player after the Raiders draft. However, he does have some upside as a pass-rusher and is a good get with the team’s final pick.