Raiders Make Bold Move to Replace Derek Carr in Latest Todd McShay Mock Draft
After the Las Vegas Raiders released long-time starting quarterback Derek Carr, the buzz about who would replace him started. Names like Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Jarrett Stidham came to the forefront. However, in the latest Todd McShay mock draft, the ESPN guru has another idea. He thinks the next era in Raiders football will be led by Kentucky QB Will Levis after the 2023 NFL Draft.
Todd McShay mock draft has Will Levis to the Raiders
The silver lining of Derek Carr and the Raiders going 6-11 in 2022 is that the franchise now owns the No. 7 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The team has a lot of holes, especially on defense, but in the latest Todd McShay mock draft on ESPN.com, he thinks the team goes QB.
“[Levis] has a huge arm to drive the ball downfield to Davante Adams, and at 232 pounds, he is a strong runner on designed rushes and scrambles. Levis has experience with pro-style concepts, too, and his ceiling is sky high,” McShay writes about the Kentucky quarterback. “But can coach Josh McDaniels clean up Levis’ turnovers (23 interceptions over the past two years) and maximize his traits? That will be the biggest question for the team that ultimately picks Levis.”
If McDaniels can figure that out, though, McShay believes Levis will be “a long-term solve to help them compete in the AFC West with the Super Bowl champion Chiefs.”
Levis has all the tools to be a great quarterback in the league, from the size to the athleticism to the arm strength. Many NFL talent evaluators compare him to Josh Allen. And like Allen, he had a tremendous junior season before a major talent drain caused a less impressive senior campaign.
McShay’s partner in crime, Mel Kiper Jr., like Levis so much, he believes the Kentucky signal-caller is the No. 1 QB in the 2023 NFL Draft over Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Alabama’s Bryce Young.
Will Levis may not last until No. 7 after the combine starts to sort out the prospects. But if he does, is he the best solution for the Raiders to replace Derek Carr?
Who should the Raiders replace Derek Carr with?
If Will Levis is available at No. 7 in the 2023 NFL Draft, like he is in the most recent Todd McShay mock draft, that’s a solid way to replace Derek Carr. NFL teams only have shots at top-10 QBs so often, and if the Raiders want to take their shot with Levis, that’s not a bad idea.
That said, the Raiders are a win-now team.
With Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, and (maybe) free-agent running back Josh Jacobs on offense, the Raiders could have a real window to win a Super Bowl. Maybe Levis helps them get there, but that wouldn’t be until 2024 at best.
To have the best chance to reach their Super Bowl potential the next two seasons, the best Raiders Derek Carr replacement is Aaron Rodgers.
Yes, the team would likely have to give up the No. 7 pick this season to get him, but outside of that, it wouldn’t cost as much in draft capital as a player like Lamar Jackson might.
Rodgers gives the Raiders a two-year window as Super Bowl contenders, which is perfect as that’s how long they have all their stars (at least) locked up through, outside of Jacobs. And if that window doesn’t work out, Rodgers will be off the books by 2025, and then the Raiders can go about their post-Derek Carr rebuild.