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Top Las Vegas Raiders needs in 2024 NFL Draft

Las Vegas Raiders
Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

New Las Vegas Raiders general manager Tom Telesco has a major decision to make with the 13th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Vegas is in need of a franchise quarterback. Whether the team can acquire that without a trade into the top 10 remains to be seen.

For a team coming off a losing season, the Raiders also have needs at other positions. That includes fortifying a defense that surprised under coordinator Patrick Graham a season ago.

With the 2024 NFL Draft getting going here soon, we rank the Raiders’ top-five needs heading into the annual event.

Related: Full 7-round Las Vegas Raiders mock draft

5. Cornerback

 Terrion Arnold NFL Draft, Las Vegas Raiders
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback remains a major need for Antonio Pierce and Co. As of right now, youngster Jakorian Bennet joins Jack Jones as the starters outside. The struggling Nate Hobbs is slated to man the slot. This is not an ideal scenario for defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.

In particular, Hobbs yielded a 70% completion and 97.2 QB rating when targeted a season ago. In a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert at quarterback, this will certainly impact the Raiders’ ability to be competitive moving forward.

  • Possible Las Vegas Raiders draft targets: Terrion Arnold (Alabama), D.J. James (Auburn), Khyree Jackson (Oregon)

Related: Updated 2024 NFL mock draft

4. Running back

 Jonathon Brooks NFL Draft
Credit: Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

While he struggled a season ago after holding out in the offseason, the loss of Josh Jacobs to the Green Bay Packers in NFL free agency is no small thing for the Raiders. They must find balance on offense to help whoever is starting under center this coming season.

Signing Alexander Mattison does not solve the issue. He averaged just 3.9 yards per rush last season for the Minnesota Vikings before being released. Zamir White (4.3 yards as a sophomore last season) figures into the equation. But exhausting a mid-round pick at this position in the 2024 NFL Draft makes a ton of sense.

  • Possible Las Vegas Raiders draft targets: Jonathon Brooks (Texas), Trey Benson (Florida State), Blake Corum (Michigan)

Related: Whispers getting louder that Las Vegas Raiders will select QB in Round 1

3. Linebacker

Jeremiah Trotter Jr NFL Draft
Credit: Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

Robert Spillane and Divine Deablo are slated to start at the off-ball linebacker spots for Vegas. They’ll be backed up by Amari Burney and Luke Masterson. Depth and previous experience is a major issue at this position moving forward.

A free agent addition last offseason, Spillane put up a career-best three interceptions in 2023. However, he also yielded a 72.7 completion percentage when targeted. Deablo gave up a 77.6% completion and 104.8 QB rating. That’s just not going to cut it.

  • Possible Las Vegas Raiders draft targets: Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (Clemson), Tyrice Knight (UTEP), Jaylan Ford (Texas)

Related: Updated Las Vegas Raiders news and rumors

2. Right tackle

Taliese Fuaga NFL Draft
Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of quarterback, this is likely the Raiders’ top need in the 2024 NFL Draft. Thayer Munford Jr. is set to hold down the fort opposite Kolton Miller next season. The former seventh-round pick from Ohio State has started 14 games in two seasons with a mixed bag of results.

Outside of Munford, there is not a lot to write home about here. Dalton Wagner and Jalen McKenzie are the Raiders’ two projected backup tackles. They have a combined zero NFL starts to their name.

  • Possible Las Vegas Raiders draft targets: Taliese Fuaga (Oregon State), Amarius Mims (Georgia), Jordan Morgan (Arizona)

Related: Ranking the top quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft

1. Quarterback

Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.
Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

This remains the Raiders’ most-obvious need heading into the 2024 NFL Draft. The failed Jimmy Garoppolo experiment ended after one season. Vegas signed veteran journeyman Gardner Minshew to compete with 2023 mid-round pick Aidan O’Connell under center. Neither figures to be the long-term solution in Sin City.

Selecting 13th overall in the annual event, Vegas has been linked more to Washington product Michael Penix Jr. at that spot. Though, they are also rumored to be interested in potentially trading up. The New England Patriots at three and Arizona Cardinals at four are ideal trade-up partners.

  • Possible Las Vegas Raiders draft targets: J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), Bo Nix (Oregon), Michael Pratt (Tulane)
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