Meet the 2023 Raiders Draft Picks

The Las Vegas Raiders filled plenty of needs with their 2023 draft selections. Let's take a closer look at each one of them.

TYREE WILSON – Rnd 1, Pk 7
6-foot-6, 271 pounds
Edge Rusher, Texas Tech

Spotlight numbers: Totaled 61 tackles (36 solo), including 14.0 for a loss and 7.0 sacks before a season-ending injury in 2022.

Per “A full-blown nightmare for opponents if he continues to grow into both his frame and his game. Wilson’s combination of traits and athleticism should yield flashes of dominant play in both phases as he continues to get bigger and stronger. His length and lateral quickness are ingredients for chaos as a back-side run game disruptor.”

What they’re saying…

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: “I love this pick, one of the best of the day. If Wilson’s injured foot checks out, which it certainly has for the Raiders, he’s going to be a big-time end in their defense to go with Maxx Crosby for a long time. He has all the traits you want in an edge rusher.”

Dave Ziegler, Las Vegas Raiders: “Being able to have some guys that can pressure the quarterback, disrupt the pocket and have more guys that can do that in phases if you will, I think is valuable. … His size stands out. I mean, this is a big man, long arms, athletic build. So, physically that stood out, and those were the things that stood out him as a person, which are things that we want.”

MICHAEL MAYER – Rnd 2, Pk 35
6-foot-4, 249 pounds
Tight End, Notre Dame

Spotlight numbers: Broke his own school record for tight ends with nine receiving touchdowns and leading the team with 67 receptions for 809 receiving yards (12.1 per).

Per “His feet are a little heavy getting into and through his routes, but he has the hand strength and contact balance to win heavily contested catches on the first two levels.”

What they’re saying…

Mayer: “I think I’m going to fit very well in the offense. It’s coming in, doing what they’re asking me to do and not doing anything more because it’s about winning football games. That’s what they drafted me to do.”

Dave Ziegler, Las Vegas Raiders: “A really unique thing about him, I’d say, is his short-area quickness. He’s a bigger guy but when you watch the tape, he has the ability to win in a short area, can win on third down, use his size down in the red zone, obviously has some size to continue develop as a run blocker.”

BYRON YOUNG – Rnd 3, Pk 70
6-foot-3, 294 pounds
Defensive Tackle, Alabama

Spotlight numbers: Totaled 48 tackles, including 5.5 for loss (-19 yards), four sacks (-16yards) and six QB pressures.

Per “A fully fueled motor and strong desire to make plays on the other side of the line of scrimmage give him a shot to become a capable pro.”

What they’re saying…

Chase Goodbread, The Tuscaloosa News: “A stout, run-stuffing defensive end who can hold his own against double-teaming and offer some push as a pass rusher as well. He could also play inside in obvious passing situations, but projects best as a 5-technique end who can set the edge against the run.”

Dave Ziegler, Las Vegas Raiders: “He has some first-step quickness and because of his length, it makes it hard for a lot of those guards to handle him inside. So, we see him being able to play inside, we also see him being able to bump out and play big end for us in some of our different defensive packages.”

TRE TUCKER – Rnd 3, Pk 100
5-foot-8, 182 pounds
Wide Receiver, Cincinnati

Spotlight numbers: Ran a 4.32 40-yard dash at UC’s Pro Day. Finished with 112 receptions for 1,433 yards and eight touchdown catches over 50 games.

Per “His speed and quickness give him the ability to uncover on all three levels.”

What they’re saying…

Vic Tafur, The Athletic: “Tucker will play a lot on special teams, both in the return game and in coverage. On offense, when he takes the field, defenses better be ready for jet sweeps and deep routes.”

Dave Ziegler, Las Vegas Raiders: “He’s a tough matchup because of his short-area quickness and just his straight-line speed. He had a lot of explosive plays. Beyond that, which is unique about him, was his production as a gunner and his production as a kick-coverage player in the kicking game.”

5-foot-10, 188 pounds
Cornerback, Maryland

Spotlight numbers: Tied for third in Big Ten in pass break-ups (11) and tied for fifth in passes defended (13). Led all FBS players in passes defended since start of 2021 campaign with 29.

Per “The high passes defensed total is an example of how aggressive Bennett is at the catch point, and he’s clearly effective at tilting the 50/50 ball in his favor.”

What they’re saying…

Kenneth Teape, NFL Analysis Network: “His jump ability makes him a playmaker in 50/50 pass attempts while his speed helps get him into position when he could have gotten beaten.”

Dave Ziegler, Las Vegas Raiders: “He improved his ability to defend the football, especially making plays down the field which for a defensive back is one of the more difficult things where you’re running and tracking vertical routes, your back is to the quarterback, being able to find and play the ball.”

AIDAN O’CONNELL – Rnd 4, Pk 135
6-foot-3, 213 pounds
Quarterback, Purdue

Spotlight numbers: His five career 400-yard passing games and 14 career 300-yard passing games rank second in Purdue history, trailing only Drew Brees in both categories.

Per “A pocket passer who can throw with solid accuracy over the first two levels but struggles with trajectory and rhythm on deep targets.”

What they’re saying…

Paul Gutierrez, “Another box checked as the Raiders needed to draft a quarterback to develop for the future after moving on from nine-year starter Derek Carr and signing Jimmy Garoppolo.”

Dave Ziegler, Las Vegas Raiders: “Another box checked as the Raiders needed to draft a quarterback to develop for the future after moving on from nine-year starter Derek Carr and signing Jimmy Garoppolo.”

5-foot-10, 192 pounds
Safety, Georgia

Spotlight numbers: Had 61 tackles, five for loss, three interceptions and five pass breakups in 15 starts in 2022, his fifth season with the Bulldogs.

Per “Undersized free safety with decent athletic ability and toughness to bolster roster depth. Smith has man-cover talent and range to play over the top, but he was often more effective attacking downhill on routes underneath and stopping plays.”

What they’re saying…

Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald: “A savvy player who made game-changing plays on big stages.”

Dave Ziegler, Las Vegas Raiders: “He has a very unique ability, I would say, just to pattern read and look at a route concept and how it develops out of the snap and make some reads that able himself to be in position to make plays on the football.”

AMARI BURNEY – Rnd 6, Pk 203
6-foot-1, 233 pounds
Linebacker, Florida

Spotlight numbers: Finished his career with 223 total tackles (121 solo), 15.0 tackles for loss, 12 pass breakups, 7.0 sacks, four intercpetions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 46 games played.

Per “An aggressive linebacker with a well-built frame and good play speed, but he lacks the instincts to play with consistency.”

What they’re saying…

Kevin Brockway, The Gainesville Sun: “He has above-average speed and cover skills at the position. Physicality is an issue for Burney, who at times missed tackles playing against SEC teams.”

Dave Ziegler, Las Vegas Raiders: “He’s done a really good job over his career developing as a linebacker. He does also have that coverage ability that you kind of see that safety background. … I think he’s a versatile guy that’s still growing. Impeccable traits; was one of the most highly thought of guys there at that Florida program.”

6-foot-2, 304 pounds
Defensive Tackle, Arizona State

Spotlight numbers: Appeared in all 12 games for the Sun Devils, starting in the last 10, and finished with a team fourth-best 56 tackles, including a season-high 12 against Utah.

Per “Silvera is fairly nimble and can get into blockers quickly. He plays with knockback power and can hold his ground against single blockers.”

What they’re saying…

The Draft Network: “His upper-body strength will leave you wide-eyed, as his physical dominance in the run game often made him look like a man amongst boys. He pairs his brute strength with a quick get-off, allowing him to quickly reset the line of scrimmage in his favor.”

Dave Ziegler, Las Vegas Raiders: “When we put on the tape it was just surprising to see this inside player and just how disruptive he was in the run game. A lot of penetration, a lot of plays where he’s in the backfield and just a lot of plays where he’s finding the football and making tackles.”