April 21, 2024

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Antonio Pierce is on the Raiders QB depth chart, 2024 draft class

Antonio Pierce is on the Raiders QB depth chart, 2024 draft class

ORLANDO — Rookie Aidan O'Connell went 5-5 as the starting quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders last season, including throwing eight touchdown passes without an interception over his final four games. As such, O'Connell will be given every opportunity this offseason to win the starting job in 2024.

The Raiders also signed veteran Gardner Minshew to a two-year, $25 million deal with $15 million guaranteed in free agency to compete for the job, and former Baltimore Ravens backup Anthony Brown is also on the roster.

But that doesn't mean the Raiders' QB1 currently has a locker in his facility.

Not with Raiders coach Antonio Pierce being unashamed in his desire to find a franchise passer in the draft. Especially with his personal relationship with the Heisman Trophy winner at LSU Jayden Danielswho initially recruited him to Arizona State when he was an assistant coach (2018-21).

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The thing is, the Raiders own the No. 13 pick overall, and with Daniels a top-three QB prospect — along with USC Caleb Williams And North Carolina Drake May – Trading for Daniels would be an expensive if not impossible task. This is because teams that go with 1-2-3 all need QBs in the Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders, and New England Patriots.

Pierce went to work at the AFC coaches' breakfast during the NFL owners' meetings here Monday, providing scouting reports on the next line of quarterbacks entering the draft.

“We interviewed most of these people at the complex and had great conversations with them,” Pierce said. “J. J. McCarthyYou're talking about a national champion, a winner. So I don't know how it's not in the top three, if you want to be honest. And then you look Bo NicksI mean what's a 61 career start? come on man. This is madness. Played against Justin Herbert. So, if you catch a kid like that, well, he's already done it. This is kind of calm. But there is a very talented group, even Michael Penix JrHe took his teammates to the national championship with the University of Washington.

“So, to be honest, yeah, you want a certain quarterback. You've got your eye on one or two or three, but I don't think you can go wrong in this year's draft with any of those players right now. “I don't know. It's the fit. It's when they are brought. It's the system. There are a lot of things that play a role.”

A cynic might see Pierce imbibing some serious quarterback play, powering up all the signal callers until one of them falls into the hands of the Raiders.

Although there's an idea in the organization that there's a dividing line separating Williams, Daniels and Maye from the next wave of QBs, the decline is so steep that it simply can't take any of those QBs at 13. Which brings us back to the Pierce Daniels connection.

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“I thought he was going to be a Heisman winner, I did,” Pierce said with a smile. “This was like my recruiting pitch for him. I thought he'd be where I was before.”

“One thing about him, I think, that separates him from the rest, is his ability to run. He can run, run. Can he run like that in the SEC and put up those type of numbers? I think that translates very well.” [to the NFL]”.

And that's exactly the type of quarterback Pierce hated facing during the nine years he spent playing linebacker in the NFL from 2001 to 2009.

“Fucking runner, Michael Vick,” Pierce said. “in you. [Donovan] Macnab. All these guys, because it's 11 on 11. I love the Tom Brady, Peyton Manning of the world. Sit there, throw that sign, it's still there. But when that mark starts moving and now I'm in coverage, will I get out? Do I stay with my friend to cover the area? Do I turn my back, use a cast as we call it, and look for the nearest receiver?

“Those guys are always tough, man. The guys that move, Patrick Mahomes, he's just a thorn, right? Because he's extending the play now and you go from 2.2 seconds to 2.6, 2.7, sometimes three and four. That's never good for us.” defense.”

Do you pick up what Pierce puts down? Because even if invaders Do Draft a QB, there's no guarantee the rookie will start right away. Regardless of his draft slot.

“It all depends on the quarterback you get and who that guy is,” Pierce said. “I mean, do you want to throw him in the fire? No, I don't think that's the best way. I played with a guy like Eli Manning, the No. 1 overall pick, and he didn't play until his eighth or ninth week.” His rookie season. We didn't become starters until the second year. So, there are a thousand ways to skin a cat. We will do what is best for the player and for ourselves moving forward. “

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Until then, Pierce provided updated perspectives on the signal callers currently on the roster:

On O'Connell: “I would love to see him become more vocal, wouldn't you? Would he become a runner one day? No, it won't happen. That's fine. But there are other ways you can do that and move in the world Jeb. I think he's done a great job at This season, where he's been in the building, staying in the Las Vegas area and really working on that. So, one thing I'd love to see him do is be more vocal. Don't do that. “I want the quarterback to be a church mouse. I don't want him to be a rah rah guy either. But when things go wrong, I need him to fix it and be vocal about it.”

On Mincio: “He's been through a lot of adversity. We want that experience here too. So, for me, it was a good fit. And it's a good fit for the culture.”

ON BROWN: “Very athletic…gives a different dynamic. Very mobile, very athletic, coming out of the pocket. Good balance about him.”

As Minshew put it, he felt “great energy” in the Raiders building, an energy that Pierce fosters.

“I'm the gatekeeper,” he said. Do not allow any evil to come through this building.

“You're looking for someone who wants to come into that room and be able to compete. Give us that advantage. And again, if it's a rookie, if it's Aidan, if it's Minshew, if it's Brown, we're going to put in the best player that gives us a chance to win.”