Although the Las Vegas Raiders addressed their immediate quarterback concerns by signing Jimmy Garoppolo in free agency. they still remain a mystery in the 2023 NFL Draft at No. 7. Their general manager, Dave Ziegler, maintains that the team will snag the best player left on the board.

It is a mundane response that all executives learn in NFL Draft orientation week, but  Ziegler may have indicated who that projected “best player available” could be.

“GM Dave Ziegler says he values an outside CB who ‘”makes plays on the football,”‘ even if stats don't really show that. Likes “”press technique,”” too, as well as tackling ability,” Paul Gutierrez of ESPN Tweeted.

Fans will immediately jump to Oregon's Christian Gonzalez and Devon Witherspoon out of Illinois, the expected first two cornerbacks to be selected on April 27. That last quote by Ziegler might provide the answer of which one ranks higher in the Raiders' war room. Despite measuring in at two inches smaller than Gonzalez at 5-foot-11, Witherspoon stood out as a hard-hitting tackler in college.

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He also could be seen as more of the playmaker of the two, whereas Gonzalez may have the best technique and footwork in the entire class. They could both be top 10 picks, which means Ziegler has a tough decision on his hands.  Las Vegas had one of the worst secondaries in the NFL last season, so a high-ceiling corner seems like a prudent approach for management to take.

Fortifying the defensive side of the field could be the best blueprint for the team. Garoppolo has thrived in that type of system before and should do so again, especially if running back Josh Jacobs is locked into to a long-term deal and can keep dictating the pace on offense.

They lost too many close games in 2022-23. Gaining a shutdown defensive star could be instrumental to this franchise truly turning a corner in a crowded AFC West.