The Las Vegas Raiders made the decision to cut ties with Derek Carr recently so they’re in the quarterback market. However, they could be a year early if the plan is to draft a replacement. There are some solid options in this year’s draft like Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud but there aren’t any clear superstars.
2024 is a different story. USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye would likely get selected before any of this year’s prospects. Williams will almost certainly be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 class unless disaster strikes next season. He won’t have much say on where he’ll end up but he’s got some teams in mind. He specifically singled out the Miami Dolphins as a team he’d want to play for.
“I like to be around younger coaches,” Williams said in an interview with People’s Lanae Brody. “I’d probably go to the Dolphins. I also would be able to play with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki. The defense isn’t bad. That’s probably my No. 1 spot.”
Notably, he mentioned a few more teams, which included the Raiders.
“San Fran, Raiders or Falcons. I’d play anywhere,” Williams said.
Williams Could Be Next Big Thing
Williams has the potential completely change the franchise he gets drafted to. USC was in free fall before they hired Lincoln Riley as head coach and got Williams to transfer from Oklahoma. USC had just one 11-win season since 2009 before the quarterback showed up and got 11 wins in his first season. It’s easy to see him having a similar impact in the NFL.
He has all the arm talent teams want to see from a quarterback and has a Patrick Mahomes-type ability to extend plays. He’s so good that new Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton previously said that the league may need to consider implementing a draft lottery system to keep teams from tanking for Williams.
“I think he’s a generational player,” Payton said on a November 28, 2022, episode of “The Herd.” “At some point, especially with the relationship our league has in gaming now, we’re going to move to a lottery system in the NFL. This is a player that possibly does that.”
There’s no word on if the NFL plans to do that but Williams may be the player that puts the league in that direction.
How Could Raiders Get Williams?
A draft lottery would be good news for the Raiders if they want Williams next year. They have too much talent to finish with the NFL’s worst record. If Las Vegas is looking to the future and hoping to draft the USC star, they’ll have to make a lackluster quarterback signing this offseason. Perhaps running it back with Jarrett Stidham would be enough to keep the Raiders bad enough to have a chance at the top pick.
Another strategy could be trying to get a 2024 first-round pick from a team the Raiders believe will be disappointing in 2023. There’s no way the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams thought they were giving up top-10 picks when they traded away their 2023 first-round picks. While Williams would be a great fit in Las Vegas and reinvigorate the fan base, it’s difficult to see a scenario where the Raiders will have a realistic shot at him. Teams are going to be tanking for Williams