Raiders Split On Moving Up For QB?

Antonio Pierce has spoken openly about his interest in acquiring a long-term QB option this offseason. New GM Tom Telesco had franchise QBs at the helm in each of his 11 years running the Chargers. This would point the Raiders to doing what they need to in order to acquire one of this draft’s starter-caliber arms.

But the team holds the No. 13 overall pick. With the Vikings acquiring another first-rounder from the Texans, they hold Nos. 11 and 23. The Broncos lack a second-round pick, but they do possess No. 12 overall, their first Round 1 draft slot in three years. It could be difficult for the Raiders to climb high enough to outflank the Vikings, as the Bears, Commanders and Patriots more likely than not to select a passer in the top three.

It also may not be a given all the key parties in the Las Vegas building want to put together a big trade package to draft a QB. Pierce is on board with doing so, per’s Tony Pauline, but Telesco is “leaning heavily” toward sticking with Gardner Minshew and Aidan O’Connell. Controlling the Raiders’ roster, Telesco has the final call. Though Pierce should be expected to wield notable power ahead of his first draft as HC, Telesco has obviously run 11 drafts to his zero.

The Raiders have been closely tied to Jayden Daniels, who arrived at Arizona State when Pierce was on the Sun Devils’ staff. Daniels has remained close with Pierce, going so far as to be in the Raiders’ locker room after their Week 18 win over the Broncos. While a recent report indicated Las Vegas wants to trade up for Daniels — a player they mentioned during their OC search — the Commanders and Patriots stand as clear obstacles in that path. The Raiders believed to have been making an effort to move up, and a report coming out of the Combine confirmed Vegas had made inquiries about climbing from 13. Understandably, a Daniels visit is on the Raiders’ docket.

Mark Davis has OK’d a move up the board, though it could cost two future first-rounders to make that jump. The Commanders choosing Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy at 2 could make matters quite interesting in Nevada, given the stream of connections to Daniels. That would put the Patriots to a decision, should the Raiders make a monster offer to vault to No. 3. The Pats are likely open to moving down, but the buzz as of now points to New England drafting a QB at 3. Moving back to 13 would effectively lock the Pats out of the Daniels-Maye-McCarthy tier.

The Raiders could stick at 13 and have a chance at Bo Nix or Michael Penix Jr., though Broncos-Nix connections have come out during the draft run-up. If the Raiders pivot to a non-quarterback call at 13,’s Jordan Reid indicates a cornerback-or-tackle decision may be on tap. While cornerback remains a need, especially after Amik Robertson‘s defection to Detroit, a Las Vegas tackle move should be considered on the radar, Reid writes.

The Raiders have Kolton Miller entrenched on the left side, but two-year RT starter Jermaine Eluemunor left for the Giants. Daniel Jeremiah’s latest mock draft sends Penix to Vegas, while Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest offering gives them Oregon State tackle Taliese Fuaga.

Of course, a tackle-or-CB move would only raise the stakes for the Raiders in 2025, as a Minshew-centered roster would not present a high ceiling for the 2024 team. In a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, that would not qualify as an exciting plan. But Minshew signed a two-year, $25MM deal. He does give the Raiders a fallback option if they opt against leaving Round 1 with a passer. Of course, if Pierce wants a QB and Telesco does not view it as realistic, this draft would not exactly start this partnership off on the right foot.

View Comments (22)