The Raiders’ focus has turned almost exclusively to next week’s NFL draft, and their fans have clearly zoomed in on that phase of the offseason as well.
But that doesn’t mean the fans aren’t also looking past the draft as they contemplate the roster. In fact, some are already looking ahead to next season’s schedule.
From what next year’s home headline game will be to trading future assets to move up in the draft to the possibility of bringing in a veteran offensive tackle, Vegas Nation has plenty of questions.
Here is a sampling of what showed up in this week’s mailbag:
Marc Walker (@emdub52): What is the most anticipated home game this season? What part of the year and what time slot would you like to see it in?
VINCENT BONSIGNORE: The NFL will announce its full schedule on May 12th. In the meantime, there will be plenty of scheduling news.
The first Thursday Night Football game on Prime Video will be released on April 28. All international games will be announced on May 4. A handful of games will be released on May 9, and each team’s home opener will be revealed a few hour before rolling out the full schedule.
The Raiders’ eight home games are against the Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers, Texans, Colts, Cardinals, 49ers and Patriots.
Their nine road games are against their three AFC West opponents plus the Jaguars, Titans, Rams, Seahawks, Steelers and Saints.
Of the home games, it’s hard to not be intrigued by the Raiders hosting the Patriots given the ties between head coach Josh McDaniels, general manager Dave Ziegler and New England.
And something tells me the NFL would be interested in playing that game up early in the season, if not the home opener in a prime-time slot.
Lawrence (@Vista_Test2): Do you think there’s a chance Ziegler could mortgage future draft picks to get into this year’s first or second round? I would interpret that as 1: Not enough free agents to shore up a need and/or 2: They believe the team is only a few players away from competing for the Super Bowl?
VB: The sense is the Raiders are open to being upwardly mobile in pursuit of their goals, but also open to trading down to accumulate more draft picks.
At this stage, it’s highly probable that Ziegler and his staff have had enough conversations with their NFL colleagues to know whether they plan to either push forward or back.
They also have a strong sense of what is still out there on the free agency market.
To answer the question, if there is a player that falls into the second round that Ziegler truly believes can provide an immediate impact at a position of need, moving a future pick to facilitate a trade is certainly possible.
DerekCarrsHair (@DerekCarrsHair): Any chance the Raiders bring back Jalen Richard? The Raiders don’t beat the Chargers and make the playoffs without him. He’s also a beast in blitz pickup.
VB: The Raiders loaded up a running back this offseason with the additions of Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah, adding those two alongside incumbents Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake, so chances are that ship has sailed.
Omar (@Azteca81580): What are the chances the Raiders add Odell Beckham?
VB: With Beckham coming off a serious knee injury, it feels like him taking his time to get his body right is the right play. And when that happens, he can circle back to marketing himself to teams looking to add to their wide receiver room.
At the present time, a pairing with the Raiders seems dubious. But things could change, depending on how things play out. When Beckham gets healthy, maybe there is a better fit.
Blitz Chick (@blitzchk): Will Derek Carr still have input and veto power in the huddle during games?
VB: Yes on the input part. He is too smart and too valuable an asset to not tap into on game plans.
It’s not so much veto power, or even in the huddle, but when it gets to the line of scrimmage there is no doubt Carr will have the green light to make any adjustments to get the Raiders into the right play against whatever the defensive look is in front of them.
Andrew (@AndrewG13): Are Raiders signing Daryl Williams?
VB: On paper, the veteran offensive tackle who played the last two seasons in Buffalo would be an intriguing possibility for an offensive line in need of help.
For now, though, it appears the Raiders will wait until after the draft to take another look at their roster before reaching back into the free agency market.