The change for the Las Vegas Raiders would likely start at the quarterback position. While Derek Carr has put up some solid seasons in his time with the Raiders (including an underrated 2019 campaign), another year of missing the playoffs could shake the organization’s faith in him to be the guy.
Three quarterbacks are firmly in the first round discussion right now. At this point, there’s no official mock draft order, but the Vegas odds have the Raiders in the 11 spot. On draft day, that’s probably not high enough to get one of the big three in the 2021 NFL Draft. It may require a trade up, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
Here, the Raiders select North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance. As a redshirt freshman, Lance took the FCS world by storm, throwing 28 touchdowns to zero interceptions. Lance showed off his athleticism, accuracy, and touch on the football last season in spades. There are definitely still questions regarding throws outside the numbers and just one season of production under his belt.
The Bison won’t have a full season due to the pandemic, but North Dakota State will play an exhibition game against Central Arkansas in October, where Lance will get to play one more time in front of scouts and analysts.
The upside of Lance will be hard to pass for the Raiders, and head coach Jon Gruden gets a more talented version of current backup Marcus Mariota to develop into a star.