Latest On Aidan O’Connell, Raiders’ QB Situation

The Raiders are one of several teams doing homework on quarterbacks in advance of April’s draft. Adding a passer would comes as little surprise at this point, but incumbent Aidan O’Connell is still in play to serve as the team’s Week 1 starter.

[RELATED: Justin Fields Eyed Potential Raiders Trade]

“Well, you know you can’t have two quarterbacks on the roster, right? So, we know we have to add some,” head coach Antonio Pierce said about the team’s depth chart (via “The next wave is the draft. So we’ll see.”

Well before free agency opened, Pierce confirmed the Raiders would sign a veteran passer to replace Jimmy Garoppolo while noting O’Connell would have the chance to compete for the starter’s role. Gardner Minshew – who took over as the Colts’ starter after Anthony Richardson‘s season-ending injury – was added on a two-year, $25MM deal, terms which mean he will likely also be in the mix for the QB1 role.

Vegas currently owns pick No. 13, well short of the range of the top passers in the 2024 class. The team has been connected to an aggressive move up the board, though, and Jayden Daniels has a ‘30 visit‘ lined up. The same is also true of Michael Penix Jr., and other options could be available depending on when the Raiders’ first selection is ultimately made. A long-term investment at the position could bring about much-needed stability, but O’Connell would still have a shot at retaining the starting gig even with a high draft selection.

“At the end of the day, listen, Aidan O’Connell played his ass off,” Pierce added. “He did a helluva job for us. You’re talking about a kid that has the mental toughness to play in the National Football League. Whatever happens and whatever we do it has to go through Aidan O’Connell. Being honest with you because he’s earned that right.”

The 2023 fourth-rounder made 10 starts last season, including each of the last nine to close out the campaign. O’Connell threw seven total interceptions, although only one of those occurred over the final six games of the year. Building off that improved ball security would certainly help the Purdue product’s chances of holding down the role he had to finish off last season. 2024 will have a number of new faces on the field, along the sidelines and in the front office for the Raiders; it will be interesting to see how the team’s QB depth chart shakes out over the course of the summer.

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