Oakland Raiders: Realistic options at No. 24 during the 2019 NFL Draft

Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images /
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Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images /

Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

For the longest time, the Raiders had struggled to find a true difference-maker at the tight end position. They somewhat alleviated that issue with the signing of Jared Cook, but there’s no guarantee he returns in 2019 after enjoying a solid 2018 campaign.

If that’s the case, Gruden must find a legitimate replacement. No longer can the Raiders rely on subpar talent (Mychal Rivera) or other clubs’ sloppy seconds (Derek Carrier) to get the job done. Plus, wouldn’t it be ideal to add an elite tight end to this offense?

Well, that’s exactly what the drafting of Noah Fant at No. 24 would do for the Raiders.

So why would he even be available that far down the first round, you ask? Well, for starters, the tight end position isn’t exactly seen as extremely valuable. Sure, there are plenty of top-notch playmakers out there, but it just doesn’t carry the same value on draft day as more impactful positions like quarterback or defensive end.

Still, if Fant is on the board, he would certainly be a tantalizing option. Arguably the best tight end prospect of the last few years, he boasts tremendous athleticism and speed for his size. And while those talents usually come at the cost of blocking ability, that’s not the case with the Iowa product.

You better believe Derek Carr would be smiling from ear to ear if Fant was the selection here.