Transparency is not something often obtained in the world of sports, especially not ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft. After earlier reports indicated that the Las Vegas Raiders had removed defensive tackle Jalen Carter from their board seemingly due to his alleged legal issues, head coach Josh McDaniels provided a reply that fans probably anticipated.

McDaniels said that Carter remains on the Raiders' draft board.

Carter will meet with the Raiders as one of their 30 visits in April. Carter was at one time considered a possible choice for the no. 1 overall pick before the Chicago Bears traded their pick to the Carolina Panthers.

The two-time national champion with Georgia football has since seen his draft stock tumble after his alleged role in a fatal car accident hours after the team's celebration parade.

Carter was arrested but denied any criminal wrongdoing and soon made his return to the NFL Scouting Combine. He pleaded no contest earlier in March.

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The optics remain, though, and were considered to be a deterrent for the Raiders front office. McDaniels shot down The Athletic's report, but he was never going to divulge the team's strategy.

If Las Vegas is truly still considering Carter despite the controversy surrounding him, then fans have to believe the organization's main focus is finding a potential elite pass rusher.

With Jimmy Garoppolo now their starting quarterback, bolstering the defense around him would be a sound plan given the results that model produced in San Francisco.

There could be other premium defensive talents available at no. 7, such as Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzales, who comes with less risk off the field.

There is nothing left to do now but engage in the tireless- and often pointless- tradition of NFL Draft speculation until the Raiders are truly forced to show their cards on April 27.