How the Patriots and Raiders could shake up the first round of the draft 

ASU inebacker coach Antonio Pierce on Nov. 3 at Sun Devil Stadium.

Utah Vs Arizona State 2018
ASU inebacker coach Antonio Pierce on Nov. 3 at Sun Devil Stadium. Utah Vs Arizona State 2018 / Rob Schumacher/The Republic

So, Jimmy G seems to be old news in the desert. He was banned for two games at the start of the 2024 season, and Aidan O’Connell started four more games in 2023 than the veteran. O’Connell looked pretty good doing it, too, but the Raiders still seem to be in the market for a new quarterback.

And get this: the new Raiders head coach was an assistant at Arizona State when Daniels was the Sun Devils’ quarterback. But the Raiders' first pick in the upcoming draft is the 13th overall, and Daniels will be long gone by then. 

So, how about the Raiders trading their 13th overall pick plus next year’s first-round pick to the Patriots to ensure they land Daniels? Or maybe they could combine it with their second-round pick in this year’s draft, which will be the 44th overall pick. Well, Daniels seems to be into it.

With the 13th pick, the Patriots would be in a great position to strengthen their offensive line. Either Taliese Fauaga from Oregon State or Troy Fautana from Washington should be available.  

Fauaga is 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 334 lbs. So, he’s pretty much the same size as Lane Johnson, just nine pounds heavier. He wasn’t as athletic as Johnson at the combine, but only one offensive tackle has run faster over Johnson. Fauaga was just 0.4 seconds slower. He’s going to be very impressive in the NFL. 

Fautana is smaller than Fauaga and can play both at left tackle and left guard. He ran even faster than Fauaga, too; his 40-yard time was just 0.29 seconds behind Johnson’s time! Fautana used to play on the defensive line, so he understands what defenses are trying to do better than some other prospects.  

Or, if the Patriots are going to follow Eliot Wolf’s natural instinct and Jerod Mayo’s specialty, they could pick a pass rusher. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that both of the best EDGE defenders will be available there.

UCLA’s Laiatu Latu is an impressive mover for a 6 feet 5-inch pass rusher; he seems to step past offensive tackles. And FSU’s Jared Verse’s combination of raw power and explosive speed is a nightmare for offensive linemen. 

With the 44th pick, they could add Keon Coleman, Roman Wilson, or Ricky Pearsall to bolster the receiving corps. 

The Raiders would get a mobile quarterback who looks like he could be the new Jordan Love. He has all the talent to succeed in the NFL, but it’s difficult to see him making the transition instantly, especially on a Raiders team entering a transition period. 

New Raiders offensive coordinator Luke Getsy left a team with a young, mobile quarterback who didn’t hit the ground running. In Getsy’s first season with Justin Fields in Chicago, the young signal caller suffered 55 sacks in 15 sacks.

That seems like bad news for Aidan O’Connell or whoever they draft. Raiders quarterbacks were sacked 39 times in 2023 (and Josh Jacobs was sacked once, presumably on a trick play). That’s not the Patriots’ bad; they saw their quarterbacks hit the deck 48 times! 

Maybe the Raiders would be better off bolstering their offensive line instead of starting the season with two inexperienced quarterbacks. But if they're set on drafting Daniels, they will need to pull off an audacious trade. And that would just be the start of the chaos.

Read more from Musket Fire: