The Las Vegas Raiders are ready to make a run at Tom Brady this offseason, but there’s no guarantee the veteran quarterback will want to join the team. If he decides to retire or go elsewhere, the team could target a quarterback with their first-round pick in the draft.
But the Raiders currently hold the No. 7 pick, which likely puts them out of the running to land one of the top two prospects. If the Raiders fall in love with CJ Stroud or Bryce Young, they’ll have to trade up, and Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report wrote that the Chicago Bears could be on the other side of that scenario.
The Bears hold the No. 1 pick but have a young quarterback in Justin Fields, so the position isn’t a need. If they decide to stick with Fields, the Raiders might be able to trade them for the No. 1 pick, according to Sobleski:
For all intents and purposes, the decision to move on is already made. The Raiders can turn their attention toward free agency and possibly reunite McDaniels with Tom Brady or Garoppolo, if either is interested. Maybe neither wants to play in Sin City. The possibility can’t be overlooked, and the Raiders must consider every contingency.
When the Philadelphia Eagles traded up from the eighth slot to No. 2 overall and drafted Carson Wentz six years ago, general manager Howie Roseman gave up first-, third- and fourth-round draft picks in that class, as well as a future first- and second-rounder.
A six-slot difference currently exists between the Bears and Raiders, who sit in the seventh hole.
Which QB Would Raiders Target With No. 1 Pick?
Getting the No. 1 pick would cost a pretty penny but give the Raiders the chance to get whichever player they want in the draft. The team would likely only make that move at this point for a quarterback, and the most likely prospects are Young and Stroud.
Young has been the favorite to go No. 1 due to his pinpoint accuracy and playmaking ability. However, his lack of size could be a red flag for the Raiders. Head coach Josh McDaniels has almost always worked with bigger quarterbacks. Stroud has the ideal size for a quarterback at 6-foot-3, and his playing style is perfect for McDaniels. He doesn’t make a lot of plays with his feet but is capable of dropping dimes all over the field from the pocket. It’s easy to see McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler watching Stroud’s tape against Georgia from last season and falling in love.
Raiders Could Have Alternate Path to Stroud
In addition to Stroud and Young, teams might also fall in love with Kentucky’s Will Levis, who has been compared to Josh Allen. His traits could lead at least one team taking him over Stroud.
If another team trades with the Bears to get the No. 1 pick to take Young and the Texans decide to draft Levis, that would make the Arizona Cardinals a very interesting team to watch at No. 3. They won’t be drafting a quarterback and the Raiders would want to leapfrog the Indianapolis Colts. A trade with the Cardinals could make a lot of sense if Stroud falls to No. 3.