The Las Vegas Raiders have their starting quarterback with the decision to sign Jimmy Garoppolo to a three-year deal. It was a logical move for the team due to his familiarity with Josh McDaniels‘ system. However, just because the Raiders signed him to a multi-year contract, doesn’t mean they envision him being the starting quarterback for a long time.
McDaniels hinted at the NFL Scouting Combine that the team would like to add a younger quarterback who can be around for a long time. Garoppolo is only 31 but his injury history makes him an unreliable option for more than a season or two. Prior to signing the veteran quarterback, the Raiders had much bigger plans. According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Las Vegas was in talks with the Chicago Bears to trade for the No. 1 pick prior to the team agreeing to a deal with the Carolina Panthers.
“D.J. Moore was a critical part of this trade. They had talks with other teams. The Raiders, I am told, were in on this and had a very similar framework in place to move up from seven to one to get a quarterback,” Graziano said on a March 13 episode of “Get Up.” “But they didn’t have the D.J. Moore-type piece that Chicago was looking for. So, think about that, that’s two big spots, that Chicago’s back at nine instead of seven. That’s how important it was for them to get this kind of player, because they feel he’s the kind of receiver that Justin Fields needs.”
Jordan Schultz of The Score also reported that the Raiders seriously considering trading up.
Raiders Can Still Trade Up
The Raiders can easily get off of Garoppolo’s contract after two seasons so there’s nothing stopping them from taking a quarterback this year. The team holds the No. 7 pick in the draft and has plenty of picks to trade up if they want.
The Arizona Cardinals are the most likely option at No. 3. They have a quarterback and are in a good position to trade down. The cost shouldn’t be nearly as much for the Raiders as it would’ve been to trade up to No. 1. Now, the Panthers are going to take a quarterback and the Houston Texans likely will, too. Do the Raiders want to trade up to get the third quarterback off the board? That will largely depend on how they feel about the top quarterbacks in the class.
Raiders Could Also Draft a QB in Later Rounds
The Raiders must have been quite high on either Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis or Anthony Richardson to be willing to trade for the No. 1 pick. The team likely still is and will take one of them if they fall to No. 7. The Raiders have also done very little to upgrade the defense this offseason so they could be saving their top draft pick for that side of the ball.
If that’s the case, the team could still add a quarterback later in the draft. Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker is the best option out of the second wave of quarterbacks. The Raiders could use a second-round pick to add him. If they want to wait until the third or fourth round, they could go with Fresno State’s Jake Haener or Stanford’s Tanner McKee. Las Vegas does have options. It’ll be interesting to see what general manager Dave Ziegler has in store.