Raiders Reportedly Looking To Make Move Up In 2024 NFL Draft

Aidan O'Connell, Antonio Pierce, Raiders, NFL Rumors
Dec 25, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Aidan O'Connell (4) talks with head coach Antonio Pierce during the second half against the Las Vegas Raiders at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders made big moves already this offseason, committing to Antonio Pierce as their head coach and bringing in Tom Telesco to pair with him as general manager. One of their tasks on the to-do list this offseason will be figuring out the quarterback situation.

Pierce’s first move when he was named interim head coach was benching veteran Jimmy Garoppolo, whose time in Las Vegas is over. In his place, the team went with fourth-round pick, rookie Aidan O’Connell.

The results were mixed, at best. O’Connell was in a tough spot as a rookie stepping into the lineup in midseason and handled it relatively well. But, it can be argued that he didn’t show enough to warrant the starting spot, at least not without facing competition.

NFL News & Rumors: Antonio Pierce, Aidan O’Connell, 2024 NFL Draft, Las Vegas Raiders Updates

O’Connell had some strong performances, such as in Week 15 against the Los Angeles Chargers when he threw for 248 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. But, sandwiching that game was a shutout at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings and a game he didn’t complete a pass after the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs.

O’Connell did end the season on a high note, throwing for 543 yards and four touchdowns without an interception against the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos. There is certainly something to work with as the Purdue product showed competency as a starter as a rookie.

If the Raiders do look to replace O’Connell as their starter, the 2024 NFL Draft could be one avenue. According to Tashan Reed and Vic Tafur of The Athletic, words out of the NFL Combine was that Las Vegas is exploring a trade up in the draft.

“The Raiders have been exploring trading up in the first round, according to league and team sources. It may be unrealistic to swing a trade to move into the top three picks considering the Bears (pick No. 1), the Commanders (pick No. 2) and the Patriots (pick No. 3) are all likely to stay put and draft quarterbacks, but that doesn’t mean the Raiders plan to sit on their laurels. GM Tom Telesco has also had conversations centered on potentially trading for picks in the 5 to 7 range, selections held by the Chargers (No. 5), Giants (No. 6) and Titans (No. 7). That type of trade could theoretically be made to put the Raiders in range for a player at another premium position, but it would only make sense if it were a move up for a quarterback,” per Reed and Tafur.

NFL News & Rumors: Antonio Pierce, Aidan O’Connell, 2024 NFL Draft, Las Vegas Raiders Updates

To guarantee landing one of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft class, the Raiders likely have to make a deal with their AFC West rivals, the Chargers, at the very least. The New York Giants at No. 6 is certainly a wild card, as moving into the top three is the only surefire way to land a top quarterback prospect.

But, given what it would cost to move up that far, it is fair to assume the Raiders won’t want to meet that price tag. Currently slated to pick at No. 13, it is likely Las Vegas will stay pat and select a player to help at another position of need.

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