The Las Vegas Raiders are committing to building through the draft. The previous regimes were among the worst in the NFL when it came to drafting, which led to a lot of overpaying free agents. General manager Dave Ziegler has been very frugal this offseason and is hoping to make his major upgrades in the draft.
The Raiders already have 12 draft picks but may want even more. The team traded star tight end Darren Waller for just a third-round pick so no player is safe. While Hunter Renfrow is still on the team, there’s a chance he could be the next player to get traded. The team signed Jakobi Meyers to a $33 million contract in free agency and may not be as enthusiastic to pay Renfrow the $32 million contract extension they gave him last year.
The Athletic’s Vic Tafur doesn’t sound very convinced that the Raiders will keep the wide receiver and hinted at a possible draft weekend trade in a recent article.
“The Raiders haven’t done much to address their 26th-ranked defense, and instead signed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, a couple of veteran tight ends to replace Darren Waller and a lot of receivers. (We sure they’re not trading Hunter Renfrow on draft weekend?)” Tafur wrote.
Will Raiders Trade Renfrow?
Now, Tafur isn’t reporting that a Renfrow trade is imminent. However, he wouldn’t hint at it if he didn’t think it was a possibility. It’s easy to see why the Raiders would do it. They currently have 10 wide receivers on the roster and will likely only have around five or six when the season starts. Renfrow had an excellent 2021 season where he broke 1,000 receiving yards and made the Pro Bowl but his 2022 season wasn’t nearly as good.
He missed seven games with injuries and only caught 36 passes. It was thought that he’d be a great fit in Josh McDaniels‘ offense but he didn’t have many flashes last season. Now that Meyers is on the team, Renfrow is much more expendable. That said, McDaniels has utilized offenses with multiple slot receivers in the past. New quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t going to throw many deep passes and does his best work throwing in the middle of the field. Having multiple guys who could win in the slot might be the best path for the Raiders to have success on offense. While it’s certainly possible Renfrow gets traded, it seems more likely that he’s on the roster when the season starts.
Raiders Could Be Torn on Drafting a QB
The Raiders need to draft a few good defensive players if they hope to improve in 2023. While the defense is clearly a huge need, the team may go after a quarterback early despite not necessarily needing one immediately. Tafur believes the team knows they need defense but could be tempted into adding a quarterback if the right deal materializes:
There is not a lot of loud buzz around the Raiders right now, because even those national “insiders” and reporters close to Ziegler and McDaniels who say the Raiders may trade up to No. 3 to get who’s ever left of Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Alabama’s Bryce Young and Florida’s Anthony Richardson say it with a scrunched-up face. As in, the Raiders realize they probably shouldn’t do it, but maybe a deal comes up that is just too good to pass up.