Las Vegas Raiders have New York Jets to thank for Brock Bowers

The Las Vegas Raiders’ selection of tight end Brock Bowers in the 2024 NFL Draft’s first round at pick No. 13 was influenced significantly by the New York Jets’ decision-making process. Here’s how the events unfolded and what Bowers brings to the Raiders:

 

Draft Day Dynamics

  1. Rams’ Pursuit of Bowers: The Los Angeles Rams were eager to draft Brock Bowers and made multiple attempts to trade up to the No. 10 pick held by the New York Jets. Initially, they offered picks Nos. 19 and 52, which the Jets declined.
  2. Increased Offer: Undeterred, the Rams returned with a more enticing offer of picks Nos. 19, 52, and 99 in exchange for the No. 10 pick and a later-round pick (No. 185). However, the Jets still opted not to accept the deal.
  3. Jets’ Trade Back: Instead of taking Bowers themselves, the Jets traded back one spot with the Minnesota Vikings, who selected quarterback J.J. McCarthy. The Jets then picked offensive tackle Olu Fashanu.

 

Raiders’ Selection of Brock Bowers

  • Unexpected Pick: The Raiders’ decision to draft Bowers surprised many, as tight end wasn’t considered one of their primary needs after selecting Michael Mayer in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. There was anticipation for Las Vegas to address positions like cornerback, right tackle, or even quarterback.
  • Historical Context: Despite the unconventional move, the Raiders made history by becoming the first team in over two decades to draft a tight end in the first two rounds in consecutive drafts (following Michael Mayer in 2023). They were also the first team since 1974 to use top-40 picks in consecutive drafts on tight ends.

 

Brock Bowers’ Versatility and Impact

  • Unique Skillset: Bowers is not your traditional tight end. His versatility allows him to line up in various positions—inline, slot, and even outside receiver. He has also showcased his ability to take hand-offs during offseason practices, demonstrating his multifaceted skill set.
  • Formation Flexibility: With Bowers and Mayer in the lineup, the Raiders have the flexibility to deploy both tight ends simultaneously, creating mismatches for opposing defenses. This versatility can greatly enhance their offensive schemes and provide quarterback Derek Carr with additional weapons in the passing game.

Overall, while the Raiders’ selection of Brock Bowers may have raised eyebrows initially, his exceptional versatility and potential to impact the game in multiple ways make him an intriguing addition to their roster and an asset they are eager to utilize in the upcoming season.