3 things we can expect from Raiders QB Aidan O'Connell in Year 2

The Las Vegas Raiders could trot out Aidan O'Connell as their starter at QB in 2024, and here is what we can expect from him.
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Candice Ward/GettyImages

The Las Vegas Raiders will have a battle at the quarterback position this summer, as Aidan O'Connell and Gardner Minshew II will fight for the starting job. That is a stark contrast from last offseason, where Jimmy Garoppolo was brought in to replace nine-year starter Derek Carr.

Last offseason, O'Connell was expected to hold a clipboard and learn behind the veteran, but when injuries mounted, as well as Josh McDaniels being fired, it was the O'Connell Show down the stretch. O'Connell played well, keeping the Raiders playoff hopes alive late in the season, and in 2024, he is going to be expected to take the next step forward.

Here, we look at three things to expect from the quarterback in 2024.

3 things we can expect from Raiders QB Aidan O'Connell in Year 2

3. More poise in the pocket

As is the case with any rookie quarterback, O'Connell had some head-shaking moments, especially in the pocket. Not blessed with incredible footwork, O'Connell is going to have to find a way to move in the pocket and extend plays, especially with question marks up front along the offensive line.

A full offseason in Luke Getsy's offense, as well as him likely getting first-team reps should help him in that department. But the real test will not come until the games actually mean something in September.

2. Fewer mistakes

Rookie mistakes played a big role in O'Connell's struggles last season, but that is to be expected from a guy who really had no expectations on him to start the season. In Year 2, defenses are going to make adjustments against him, but he will also be a much better passer, and should be able to hold onto the ball a bit better.

Interceptions are going to come, but reading coverages and not pushing the ball downfield when not necessary should be areas we see improvement next season. O'Connell has the arm to make all the throws, but keeping the ball away from the defense is going to be paramount for this Raiders offense in 2024.

1. Leadership

If O'Connell is the guy getting the first first-team reps this summer, than that should bring with it more leadership from him. He is not a young quarterback, despite only going into his second NFL season, and the team seemed to respond to him once he was named the full-time starter last year.

He has to be a more vocal leader for the Raiders in 2024, putting his stamp on an offense that has plenty of weapons in the passing game. If he can become the unquestioned leader of this offense this season, the rest of the team will fall in line behind him.