The Raiders wasted no time addressing their glaring need at quarterback at the start of the new league year, signing former San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo to a multi-year contract. With Garoppolo’s presence on the roster and the Raiders holding the No. 7 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the team now has plenty of options with their top draft selection and team-building approach. Two quarterback prospects who may be available either at the No. 7 overall pick or higher via a trade up are visiting with the Raiders this week on official top-30 visits: Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Kentucky’s Will Levis.
Richardson, 20, has enjoyed an extremely strong draft process. His projected draft stock early in the offseason varied, sometimes not being considered a first-round prospect due to his inexperience at the college level and accuracy concerns. That all changed, however, when he posted eye-popping athletic testing numbers at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. His historic performance immediately vaulted him into the conversation with Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud as the top quarterbacks in the draft. After a strong pro day performance, one in which the Raiders were represented by general manager Dave Ziegler, Richardson has solidified his place atop draft boards as one of the highest-potential players available in the draft.
Levis, 23, is a more polarizing prospect and has his fair share of doubters among draft analysts. In his two seasons as a starter at Kentucky, Levis put himself on the map as a top NFL Draft prospect in 2021, but disappointed during his senior season. At this point in the process, Levis does not have the same level of buzz as Richardson. He is likely the consensus QB4 of the class as he visits the Raiders, but in recent years, the order in which quarterbacks have been drafted has not directly correlated to their level of success as NFL starters. Levis’ success at the NFL level will ultimately be determined his skills as a quarterback and the situation he walks into, not by pre-draft judgements or the number of quarterbacks selected ahead of him.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah. a leading NFL Draft analyst, said to “keep an eye” on the Raiders and a possible trade up to the No. 3 overall pick with the Arizona Cardinals on his podcast “Move the Sticks.” The Raiders reportedly turned down an offer from the Chicago Bears to move all the way up to the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, but could end up with their QB1 at a lower price tag at the No. 3 overall pick if the draft’s first two picks fall in a favorable way for the team. All that being said, the Raiders are in a comfortable position with QB Jimmy Garoppolo set to take over under center Week 1, and if their evaluations tell them to not invest a franchise-altering level of draft capital in one of this year’s quarterback prospects, the Raiders could address a different position entirely with Garoppolo as the unquestioned starter in 2023.
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