Raiders Draft: Gems from Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft
The Las Vegas Raiders’ trade for Davante Adams added the fundamental weapon the team lacked. Adams is the best wide receiver in football and nearly unstoppable in the red zone. His abilities will make the attack explosive with fireworks all over Las Vegas.
The acquisition of Adams cost the Raiders their first two selections in the upcoming draft. The Raiders won’t get a chance to nab a prospect until they pick 86 at the end of Day 2.
Their first pick should lead to one of the top 100 players in the draft or pounce on a player who falls through the cracks for various reasons. The possibility of finding a starter is still there when you turn the map late Friday night.
Day three is when the majority of the Raiders’ draft picks land. They have four selections on Saturday with the wiggle room to add more picks by trading. Ammo could lead to aggression and trading against a player high on their board. The options are endless for Dave Ziegler.
Cole Strange C, UT Chattanooga
The lack of offensive line signers has left Raider Nation scratching their heads. The unit’s performance was below average and kept Derek Carr under pressure, which led to 40 sacks. The end of the project is a great place to find inner depth, and Cole Strange fits the bill.
Strange was an unknown before the Senior Bowl. Weighing 6’4 and 303 pounds, he’s undersized for a center but stood out in senior bowl action. According to PFF, his play was stellar for the Mocs with Strange, allowing a total of 13 pressures in his college career. He does as well as a run blocker by easily moving guards using textbook technique.
Strange might be a player competing for a starting position down the line. He showed that he belonged to the best competition in this repechage. The central position could use a burst of juice, and Strange would provide it.
Carson Strong QB, Nevada
The Raiders are looking for a replacement quarterback, with Trevor Simien and Garret Gilbert as the other two quarterbacks on the roster. They could look to the draft where coach Josh McDaniels has a reputation for signing a signalman. Nevada’s Carson Strong could be a welcome addition to the room.
Strong comes from an airstrike in college where he racked up huge numbers. In 2021, he threw for 4,192 yards with 36 touchdowns and an 8.0 YPA. His arm talent rivals only Malik Willis in the class with the ability to shut him down in tight windows. Strong’s athleticism is the concern. His injury history shows a slow player on tape as he moves into the pocket. This creates serious problems in the NFL when he plays in pockets of confusion, which is key to success as a quarterback at this level.
Strong could grow and prove himself as a starter down the line. It’s best to have a young quarterback as a backup in case he might become trade material or become your future.
Tariq Laine CB, UTSA
late-round gems are usually small school stars, and the trend continues at cornerback. The Raiders filled the room with new faces trading for Rock Ya-Sin and acquiring others. However, the scouting department took a trip to San Antonio to observe monster athlete Tariq Woolen.
Tariq Woolen says he’s had in-person visits with the Colts, Panthers and Raiders
—Billy M (@BillyM_91) March 23, 2022
Woolen had a combine for the ages. At 6’4 205 pounds, the former UTSA cornerback ran a 4.26 with a vertical leap of 42′. According to RAS, he is the 96th percentile athlete. However, Woolen’s film falls short of a high selection. It can be stiff when changing direction and transitioning from coverage. Proof of this is his 100.2 passer rating allowed during his tenure in college.
When a player has Woolen’s athleticism late in the draft, that’s the perfect place for their pick. He can develop behind veterans and other young players while polishing his game to be ready to play by third year. Wool could be a steal and a superstar, or you don’t feel too bad about a 5th-round pick based on value.