The Las Vegas Raiders have yet to trade Derek Carr yet but he will be off the roster by February 15 before $40.4 million of his contract guarantees kick in. There have been a number of rumors suggesting the team will look to replace him with a veteran but there aren’t many available quarterbacks who are clear upgrades over Carr. That could lead the team to look to the draft.
With the No. 7 overall pick, the Raiders are in a decent position to land a quarterback but most of the top guys could be gone by then. Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud are the top-two prospects and will almost certainly be gone by No. 7. In a recent mock draft, The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner pitched a trade with the Arizona Cardinals that would give Las Vegas the No. 3 overall pick. The Raiders would send their Nos. 7, 38, 142 and 145 picks to Arizona. With the third pick, Las Vegas would select Stroud.
“The price to jump Indianapolis and snag the next-best quarterback on the list (at least as I see it, that’s C.J. Stroud) is going to be expensive,” Baumgardner wrote. “The Raiders have enough to make that work, though. They’re probably overpaying here, but even after giving up these picks, the Raiders still would have a third-round pick, a fourth-round pick and five selections on Day 3. They’d also have a new franchise QB.”
This Would Be a Great Trade for the Raiders
Moving up from No. 7 to No. 3 may not seem like a lot but it could be the difference between finding a franchise quarterback and drafting a bust. If the Raiders can jump up to No. 3 to get Stroud without giving up next year’s first-round pick, that would be a deal they have to consider making.
Las Vegas has many holes on the roster and giving up picks makes it harder to fill those but quarterback is the most important position. Stroud could be a Pro Bowl-level quarterback for the next decade. Landing him would make giving up those picks with it. The Raiders would be saving money at the quarterback position with a rookie so they can use that extra salary cap space to address the defense and offensive line needs.
Why Drafting a Rookie Is Smartest Play for Raiders
There’s no doubt that Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers coming to the Raiders would be a massive storyline and it’s possible that adding one of them would get the team over the hump. Though Brady and Rodgers are two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, they would both likely be the third-best quarterbacks in the AFC West. The Raiders need to face the reality that they are going to have to deal with two of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL for a long time in Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert.
The best way to compete with those quarterbacks is to have an elite young quarterback of your own. That’s not to say Stroud will be at the same level as Mahomes or Herbert but he doesn’t need to be. Mahomes is already getting paid a massive contract and the Chargers going to have to pay Herbert soon. If Stroud comes in and develops quickly, the Raiders will have him on a discount for a few years. That allows them to stack their defense to slow down the star quarterbacks. That’s not something the team can do if they add Rodgers or Brady.