The Las Vegas Raiders were in the mix to land the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to pick their next franchise quarterback. With Jimmy Garoppolo now on the roster at two quarterback-needy teams holding the first two picks, Las Vegas will be exploring alternatives.
Josh McDaniels reunited with Garoppolo, who he coached with the New England Patriots, to execute his offense and provide stability at the position. Garoppolo will be the Raiders starting quarterback in 2023, but his deal is structured so Las Vegas can get out of it soon after.
It opens the door to the possibility of the Raiders taking a quarterback to develop in the upcoming NFL Draft. While Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud will likely be picked long before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces who Las Vegas pick, there is a belief around the league that another quarterback prospect could be high on the Raiders’ draft board.
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Mike Sando of The Athletic spoke with multiple general managers and executives about the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. With a focus on the top-10 picks, one general manager identified Will Levis as the quarterback the Raiders will likely target because of McDaniels.
“Josh (McDaniels) drafted (Tim) Tebow in Denver because of the makeup, he has been with (Tom) Brady, he has been with Mac Jones. Levis has that makeup where he is going to be really good on the board and everything like that, so they might prioritize that.”NFL general manager on Will Evis as a fit with Las Vegas Raiders
Levis, who starred at quarterback for the Kentucky Wildcats, lands fourth in Sportsnaut’s 2023 NFL Draft quarterback rankings. After losing the starting job at Penn State to Sean Clifford, Levis transferred to Kentucky.
- Will Levis stats (Kentucky): 43-23 TD-INT, 65.7% completion rate, 149.9 QB rating
Levis struggled at times as a senior, especially against SEC defenses. He threw three interceptions with a 67.5 passer rating vs Tennessee and posted a 2-2 TD-INT line with 408 combined passing yards in two starts against Florida and Georgia.
However, Levis’s size and athleticism are extremely appealing to NFL teams who believe he can thrive in a better environment. While few believe he can be a Week 1 starter, Levis does have the strongest arm in the 2023 NFL Draft class and there is Pro Bowl potential if he develops.
McDaniels could use Garoppolo as the Raiders’ bridge starter for the 2023 season, all while Levis is coached up behind the scenes. Not only could it offer the head coach greater long-term job security in Las Vegas, but it might also be the best way for the Raiders to compete next season while not rushing their rookie quarterback.