AFC West tight end rotations ranked worst to best in 2023

- Travis Kelce reigns supreme

- Raiders trade Waller, still upgrade?

- Broncos have big potential

AFC West, Denver Broncos
AFC West, Denver Broncos / George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Las Vegas Raiders: Austin Hooper, Michael Mayer, OJ Howard

The Las Vegas Raiders made a decision this offseason when they traded away Darren Waller to the New York Giants for next to nothing. The Raiders got a decent pick in exchange for Waller but the fact of the matter is, Josh McDaniels simply can't help himself. He has to go above and beyond when it comes to reconstructing the roster he's got charge over.

The Raiders' decision to trade Waller and let Foster Moreau walk in free agency certainly took this position group from a huge strength on paper to a huge question mark. I have to say, I'm okay with what they did here.

Adding Austin Hooper gives the Raiders a very high floor for the position. Hooper has been unspectacular as a playmaker but he's just a solid player who has made a Pro Bowl in the past. I don't know that he's going to be returning to the Pro Bowl as a member of the Raiders, but I think it's odd that he's floating around the NFL already before the age of 29.

Then the Raiders landed one of the biggest steals of the 2023 NFL Draft as far as I'm concerned when they got Notre Dame's Michael Mayer in the second round. I think with the combination of Hooper and Mayer, you have both a high floor and a pretty high ceiling if you're the Raiders. Mayer could become one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the NFL in short order.

The addition of OJ Howard to the bottom of the rotation here tugs at my own heartstrings. I have liked Howard a ton since he came out of Alabama in 2017 and although he hasn't lived up to his first-round billing up to this point, I think that ability can still poke through in moments which gives the Raiders an interesting wild card at tight end.