The Las Vegas Raiders missed the playoffs for the second straight year, but 2023 did mark the beginning of the Antonio Pierce era. After Vegas fired Josh McDaniels eight games into the season, Pierce was promoted to interim head coach. The "interim" tag was removed last week, after Pierce went 5-4 and won over the locker room.

The Raiders have also tabbed former Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco as their new GM, and he is charged with getting this franchise back on track. It all starts with the offseason. Free agency is important, but the draft is where real contenders are built. What should the Raiders be focused on in the 2024 NFL Draft? That's what we're here to explore. 

Raiders 2024 draft picks

(Per Tankathon)

RoundOverall pick







6206 (from Kansas City)
7220 (from New England)
7224 (from Tennessee)
7226 (from Minnesota)

Latest CBS Sports mock drafts


Ryan Wilson

CB Nate Wiggins


Chris Trapasso

CB Ennis Rakestraw Jr.


Josh Edwards

QB J.J. McCarthy



Rookie Aidan O'Connell's first NFL season was a bit of a mixed bag. He was one of the biggest storylines from the preseason, and Pierce promoted him to starting quarterback once McDaniels was fired. The Purdue product went 5-5 and completed 62.1% of his passes for 2,218 yards (201.6 passing yards per game), 12 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Davante Adams sees potential in O'Connell, but the Raiders offense needs to be better in 2024, and the quarterback position could be upgraded. The Raiders should add a quarterback in the draft.

There are three ways the Raiders can do this: Shoot for the stars by trading up into the top three and take one of the best signal-callers in the class, draft one at 13, or take one a bit later in the draft. Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels would be great for Vegas, but I don't know how set the new front office will be on trading future assets to go all in. As we mentioned, the Raiders select at No. 13 overall. Around that spot is where Michigan's J.J. McCarthy or Oregon's Bo Nix could go. Maybe Washington's Michael Penix Jr., too, depending on medicals. Or, maybe Penix is someone who falls to the second round, where Vegas can take him. Just one of our three NFL Draft experts currently have Penix going in the first round. Personally, I'm more intrigued by him compared to McCarthy or Nix.  

The Raiders went the veteran route at quarterback last offseason, and it didn't work. Vegas should grab a quarterback with potential in this class.

For more draft coverage, you can hear in-depth analysis twice a week on "With the First Pick" -- our year-round NFL Draft podcast with NFL Draft analyst Ryan Wilson and former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. You can find "With the First Pick" wherever you get your podcasts: Apple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube, etc. Listen to the latest episode below!

Defensive front

Pierce sparked the Raiders defense in a big way. Vegas allowed an average of 16 points per game under its new head coach, which led the league from Weeks 9-18. A lot of mock artists have the Raiders taking a defensive back in the first round. Sure, that could happen. But statistically, Vegas allowed the 12th-most rushing yards per game in 2023 and ranked 12th-best in passing yards allowed per game.

Pierce will likely be fighting for a "dog" to add on defense in the war room, and that dog should come early if Vegas pushes the quarterback need to later in the draft. The Raiders solidifying the defensive interior would open up things even more for Maxx Crosby and Tyree Wilson. Byron Murphy II out of Texas was the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year. He's CBS Sports' No. 15 overall prospect in this class. Right behind him at No. 16 is Jer'Zhan Newton out of Illinois, who was a consensus All-American this season. Both players should be immediate starters at the next level who would not only help in run support, but rush the passer as well. 

Grabbing an athletic interior defensive lineman would be a great move for the Raiders. 

Offensive line

The Raiders need to add weapons in the draft as well, and I assume they will at running back and receiver. But the offensive line is a topic that needs to be addressed. Andre James, Jermaine Eluemunor and Greg Van Roten are set to become free agents, and all three players started at least 14 games for the Raiders in 2023. There could be some turnover here. 

If we are talking about some Day 2 or Day 3 prospects, Michigan's Zak Zinter suffered a pretty gruesome leg injury vs. Ohio State late in the year, which could cause him to drop a little in the draft. However, he told MLive that the plan is to be jogging by the NFL Scouting Combine and to be ready to go for minicamp. Zinter could have entered the draft last year, but didn't. He is an interior lineman who maybe could play some center, too. Notre Dame's Blake Fisher is a 6-foot-6, 315-pound right tackle who could be moved inside, and then Ethan Driskell from Marshall is a potential late-round pick to watch at the Reese's Senior Bowl. He's listed at 6-foot-9 and 329 pounds!