The Raiders made a big splash in free agency when they traded away their first and second-round picks for Davante Adams. While it was everything they could have dreamed of, it only answered one of the Raiders’ most pressing questions. The Silver and Black still have major holes at the offensive line and in the secondary.
Now, with just a few days left before the NFL draft, one question remains: What will the Raiders choose to do with the 86th overall pick?
Prospects to watch
There are infinite directions the Raiders could go in with their first pick in the 2022 draft. Offensive line, cornerback, and safety are thought to be the most likely places they will look, but if history repeats itself, the Raiders may look to add talent in their secondary. If Las Vegas does choose to go in this direction, they have a few strong options to look at.
Cornerback Tariq Woolen may be one direction the Raiders go. Woolen played two seasons at cornerback at The University of Texas at San Antonio. While that doesn’t seem like much, Woolen left his mark with his speed and potential to develop into a reliable player. He ran a 4.26 40-yard dash, putting him firmly in the running for one of the fastest 40-yard dash times this season. Woolen possesses extreme potential, and with the right defensive coordinator has the ability to skyrocket his on-field production.
If the Raiders choose to go the cornerback route, they may look to someone more experienced in the position. That player could come in the form of Cincinnati’s Coby Bryant. Despite being destined for greatness by name alone, Bryant also has the potential to become a threat in the backfield.
He possesses wide receiver-like qualities when it comes to following and catching passes. Those qualities are something the Raiders defense is screaming for as they come off a season with just six interceptions.
What are the Raider’s other options?
One option stands out as one of the most likely for Las Vegas, and that is a trade of the 86th pick. Whether they choose to trade up into the first or second round or choose to trade their third-round pick for a player, the possibility shouldn’t be ruled out. In fact, general manager Dave Ziegler said the same thing last week during his pre-draft press conference.
“These opportunities always exist…If there’s a deal to be made that’s going to benefit the Raiders, whether it’s moving up in the draft, whether it’s moving back in the draft, those are always things that we’re going to be open to and entertain.” Ziegler told the media.
At this point, the Raiders hold just five picks in the 2022 NFL draft after trading away their first two picks. Dave Ziegler has a strong history of drafting quality players in the later rounds, so Raider Nation can rest assured the new front office regime has a plan no one is expecting.