NFL.com mock draft has Raiders drafting QB Hendon Hooker

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In a recent mock draft written by draft analyst Chad Reuter and published on NFL.com, Reuter projects the Raiders to draft a quarterback in the first round of the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. However, the mock draft doesn’t give the Raiders a signal-caller with their first pick of the draft, but at the end of the first round via trade. Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker is Reuter’s pick for the Raiders at the 30th pick of the draft after a trade with the Eagles. Notably, Reuter projects the Raiders to pass on Kentucky QB Will Levis at the 7th pick of the draft, and has the Raiders selecting Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez.

Jimmy Garoppolo is the team’s starting quarterback for the near term, but Hooker would be the team’s future at the position — and a solid backup if the oft-injured veteran misses time again.

Chad Reuter, NFL.com

Hooker, 25, was in the midst of a stellar season for the Tennessee Volunteers in 2022 before unfortunately tearing his ACL in a November matchup against South Carolina. Hooker has emerged as the dark horse quarterback prospect most likely to join the likes of C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson and Levis to be drafted in the first round. Hooker had a lengthy college career and is entering the NFL as an older prospect, but age at the quarterback position has been declining in importance in recent years.

Hooker boasts a 6-foot-3, 217 pound frame and posted two impressive seasons at Tennessee after transferring from Virginia Tech after three seasons. He finished fifth in Heisman voting in 2022 despite not finishing his season after tearing his ACL. His draft stock is rising, and it would be no surprise at this point to see Hooker sneak into the back half of the first round in the 2023 NFL Draft. If selected by the Raiders, he would be in position to push Jimmy Garoppolo for the starting job, and would have a chance to fully take over the reins in 2024.

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