The Raiders will be eyeing quarterback prospects in the upcoming draft, but they might not wait for a signal-caller to fall to No. 13. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Raiders could be a trade suitors for a top-three pick.
Fowler notes that head coach Antonio Pierce is a “big fan” of Jayden Daniels, but the organization would surely have to trade for the LSU quarterback. Pierce and Daniels crossed paths during their stints at Arizona State, and that familiarity makes the Raiders a natural landing spot for the prospect.
Further, Fowler notes that Pierce was evaluating offensive coordinator candidates with “the loose possibility of Daniels in mind.” The team’s first choice for OC, Kliff Kingsbury, most recently worked with the draft’s top QB prospect, USC’s Caleb Williams. When Kingsbury declined the Raiders offer and opted for the Commanders’ job, the Raiders pivoted to Luke Getsy.
Fowler assumes that the Bears will take Williams with the first-overall pick, meaning the Raiders will likely have to trade with the Commanders (No. 2) or the Patriots (No. 3) if they want to add Daniels or UNC’s Drake Maye. New GM Tom Telesco was known for his drafting prowess during his years with the Chargers, although his strategy usually didn’t feature home-run, draft-day trades.
With that in mind, it’s notable that the team recently met with Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. at the Senior Bowl, per Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Penix is hoping to emerge as the fourth QB on the draft board (following Williams, Daniels, and Maye), although he’s not consistently projected for the first round.
Regardless of how things unfold during the draft, it’s likely that the Raiders will be eyeing a new signal-caller in 2024. Jimmy Garoppolo barely played once Pierce was named the interim head coach, and the veteran will likely be a trade/cut candidate. And while rookie Aidan O’Connell was a standout during the final chunk of the season, it sounds like the Raiders envision him as more of a backup. If the Raiders strike out in the draft, the team could turn to the likes of Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield, and Jameis Winston via free agency.