The 2023 NFL Draft is extremely important for the LA Chargers. With the team needing to free up over $20 million in cap space, LA won't be able to add much talent from external means. Finding prospects that can make an instant impact in 2023 is the key.
The Bolts are not the only team in the AFC West that needs a great showing in the 2023 NFL Draft. Perhaps more so than the Chargers is the Las Vegas Raiders, who have parted ways with Derek Carr and need to find a replacement at quarterback.
While Carr is not elite, it is going to be really hard for the Raiders to find someone who is better than him. Even with the seventh overall pick, Vegas might not be able to draft a quarterback that can replace Carr under center.
However, the door is now open for the Raiders to potentially move up in the 2023 NFL Draft to land an elite QB prospect. The Chicago Bears are now leaning towards trading the first overall pick and that should be of huge interest to the Raiders.
Chargers fans should worry about the Bears trading the first overall pick to the Raiders.
Chicago trading the first overall pick to Las Vegas would give the Raiders the chance to draft the best quarterback prospect in this class, Bryce Young. While the Chargers sitll have more overall talent, this would give the Raiders a quarterback that can succeed in 2023 and beyond under Josh McDaniels.
This does not instantly make the Raiders the favorites in the AFC West but it would be far more entertaining for Chargers fans if the Raiders tried to strike gold with the seventh pick. Landing a talented quarterback is not impossible with the seventh pick but it is much tougher than simply drafting Young.
Chicago and Las Vegas have done business before in the past. Khalil Mack was traded from the Raiders to the Bears and while there are completely different front offices in place, they are so far apart in the league (AFC vs NFC) that it makes sense for Chicago to prefer trading the pick to the Raiders.
The Raiders also have all of the necessary picks to make a trade happen. They have all of their early and mid-round picks available as well as first-round picks in future years. Vegas woudl likely have to trade its 2023 second and a future first, at the very least, to make this happen.
But after trading picks for Davante Adams last offseason, the Raiders have shown that they are willing to make bold moves for elite talent. Thus, the LA Chargers may end up seeing Bryce Young twice a year for the foreseeable future.