Why the Las Vegas Raiders Aced First Round With Brock Bowers

For the Las Vegas Raiders, first-round picks are not a specialty, so drafting an absolute Dawg like Brock Bowers outside the top 10 was a breath of fresh air. Forget six quarterbacks in twelve picks, all Raider Nation will be talking about is how their team didn’t overthink the 13th overall pick by stealing Bowers.

Why The Raiders Aced The First Round by Drafting Brock Bowers


1) Too Good To Pass Up

Brock Bowers was a projected top-10 pick in this year’s draft and for good reason. He is proven to be able to line up and catch from the slot, out wide, or put his hand in the dirt and block on the line. More importantly, Bowers impacts games in a meaningful way. Pairing him with rookie standout Michael Mayer may seem redundant, but they could be a dynamic duo. Having two tight ends on the field who can block and catch at a high level opens up a wealth of opportunities for the entire offense.

Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy will appreciate the addition of an absolute stud to the offense he inherited. More opportunities for the entire offense means more elbow room for star Davante Adams, who’s eager to show off his Hall of Fame skillset.

The Raiders getting Bowers at 13th overall in the first round can’t be understated. A player as good as him who can be an instant playmaker is priceless and they definitely couldn’t afford to pass him up. Especially with their quarterback situation, whoever ends up under center is going to need all the help they can get to outgun division rivals like the Chiefs.

2) Raiders Finally Didn’t Reach

The Raiders may have overthought in the past given similar situations where their first, second, and third choices aren’t on the big board anymore. They made an earnest effort in the offseason to find a play-caller in this year’s deep quarterback class and even added a bit of competition by signing Gardner Minshew.

Six quarterbacks and twelve picks later, the Raiders were on the clock with all feasible first-round play-callers gone. Instead of panicking and reaching for a shiny new corner, edge rusher, or a lesser player (they surely have in the past), the Silver and Black trusted their depth at those positions and snagged what many believe to be a sure thing in this draft.

In the past, the Raiders have been guilty of drafting guys with a second-round grade in the first round like Johnathan Abrams (2019), Damon Arnette (2020), or Alex Leatherwood (2021). With no first-rounder in 2022, the verdict is still out on whether 2023 pick Tyree Wilson will be as impactful as a guy like Khalil Mack or as quiet as Clelin Ferrell. In 2024 however, Raider Nation can say for the first time in a while that they made a great 1st round pick and will not be able to blame poor decision-making at the draft for Bowers not panning out.

3) The Offense Still Needs Help

While the Silver and Black were caught in no man’s land with no viable quarterbacks left on the board to address their offense, they did the least Raider thing ever by grabbing the best available player. They could have had their pick of any defensive prospect but chose offense over defense in this case. Opposed to years before, the Raider defense was picking up the slack for the offense in 2023 by ranking ninth overall in total defense. A welcome reminder of what the Raiders were all about, hard-nose football and just-winning. Not much changed this offseason, so the Raider defense is poised for an even better season.

On the clock with the 13th overall pick the Raiders were content with their defense, had no options at quarterback, and ended up with a generational talent on offense giving them the best tight-end room in the NFL. When offense in general is the biggest need for your franchise, having the best of anything is going to be a big help. They do already have who many believe to be the best wide receiver in the league, but as the team found out last season he can’t do everything on his own when the opposing defense is only planning for number 17.

Putting another gameplan disrupter on the field in Brock Bowers will open up a wealth of opportunity for not only Davante Adams, but the entire offense if all goes to plan. Especially since Bowers can line up anywhere in the offense, even the backfield.

The Silver and Black are off to a good start so far since analysts won’t be able to ask, “What were the Raiders thinking with that first pick?”.  They needed playmakers on offense and they may have grabbed the best one. However, only time will tell if new General Manager Tom Telesco and his team came prepared to just win this draft.

Main Image:  Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

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