Aidan O'Connell's strong preseason could set the Raiders up for long-term success

Aidan O'Connell has looked like a pure passer out on the field the past few weeks, but will that translate to the regular season for the Las Vegas Raiders?
Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Rams
Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Rams / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

The Las Vegas Raiders have been playing lights out the past few weeks and one reason why is the play of Aidan O'Connell. The Purdue quarterback has made a name for himself by looking poised and ready to take on the starting role from what will presumably be the recently traded for Jimmy Garapolo from the 49ers.

Selected in the fourth-round of the 2023 NFL Draft, O'Connell has been turning heads around the NFL and particularly amongst Raiders fans.

O'Connell has been a highlight of on a team that has seen it's share of downs this offseason. With Derrick Carr leaving in less than stellar circumstances and also Darren Waller being traded, and the Josh Jacobs situation, there hasn't been much the Las Vegas Raiders have been able to look forward to until now. O'Connell completed 11 of his 18 passes in Los Angeles with 163 yards and 2 touchdowns against a formidible Rams defense.

Last week against the 49ers, O'Connell got the start and lit up the stat board for 143 yards and a touchdown while completing over 70% of his passes and head coach Josh McDaniels is starting to notice. When asked about O'Connell he stated:

"I mean, I'm very interested in watching all of our young players. I mean, this is a great opportunity for all of those guys in joint practices and in preseason games to really go out there and compete, but also improve. A lot of these things that they're doing and/or seeing are the first time they're doing it. Tre Tucker, a handful of things today. Same thing with Aidan, Chris Smith, [Amari] Burney. There's a number of guys who are out there doing things, and they're seeing things for the first time. So, that game experience, the live reps against somebody who you don't know what they're going to do. You're not sure exactly how that's going to go from snap to snap. It's all positive for us in terms of getting those guys an opportunity to work and take repetition. So, they will either do the right thing or learn from the mistake."

Raiders Head Coach Josh McDaniels

From what we can tell, Garopolo will be the starter but it looks like O'Connell is making a strong case as to why he should be the backup over veteran Hoyer. Hoyer, who threw a pick-six and a touchdown, played after the first series through the remainder of the first-half before turning over the reigns to O'Connell.

The Raiders take on the Cowboys at Texas Stadium on the 28th at 5pm Pacific.