Pros and cons of Raiders waiting until 2025 to draft a franchise quarterback

Taking a look at one of the Raiders' big dilemmas of the next calendar year.
NFL Draft
NFL Draft / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

When the NFL Draft kicks off next Thursday night, all eyes – at least in the first round – will be on three teams. The Vikings, Broncos, and Raiders, who pick consecutively, have all been in the middle of trade up rumors for months now, with each team seriously lacking at quarterback.

Depending on who you read, this draft is a 3 or 4 QB draft. Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, and Drake Maye will all go in the Top 3 picks (presumably), and then things figure to get weird. The Vikings have been a popular pick to trade up and take the 4th-best QB, JJ McCarthy, but both Denver and the Raiders have had their fair share of QB rumors over the last few months.

But with the semi-big contract that Las Vegas handed to Gardner Minshew this offseason, are the Raiders signaling that 2025 is the year they go for a QB? With more than a few holes still on their roster, a big swing for a QB at 13 this year feels pretty far-fetched at this point. But what are the pros and cons of waiting until next year for a QB? What a great, topical question!

Pros of waiting until 2025 to draft a franchise quarterback

For starters, the Raiders will probably end up with one of the elite non-QB prospects in this year's draft. If we assume that four of the first 12 picks are going to be QBs, and that three more of those will be wide receivers, that leaves a ton of options for Vegas. OL2? CB1? Maybe Michael Penix ends up being a star, but it's hard to argue that getting QB5 this year is a smarter idea than CB1. There will be plenty of opportunities to roll the dice on a QB on Days 3 and 4.

And frankly, the Raiders aren't a QB away. Trading down is boring, but for teams in Vegas' position, it makes a ton of sense. Stock up on Top-100 picks, fill out the roster, and build that way. This year's QB Draft class is special, but there are always other great QB prospects on the way. Some college QBs in next year's draft include Colorado's Shedeur Sanders, Georgia's Carson Beck, Penn State's Drew Allar, and Texas' Quinn Ewers. And maybe none of those guys would challenge Williams, Daniels, and Maye this year, but the point remains: there are always more QBs on the way. Bending over backwards to make it happen this year, just because a bunch of other teams are too, doesn't feel that wise.

Cons of waiting until 2025 to draft a franchise quarterback

17 games of Gardner Minshew, basically. Or 9 games of Minshew and 8 of Aidan O'Connell. Either way, it's not going to be fun. Bridge QB seasons are always kinda dull, and it's admittedly hard to drum up excitement for a year that the Raiders are openly selling as a building one.

Also, I wouldn't blame you if a group of Sanders/Beck/Ewers/Allar doesn't exactly thrill you. There's always potential with QBs at the top of the draft, but there's no denying that the 2025 draft class is a step down talent-wise from this year's group. Teams have to take a swing eventually, and kicking the can down the road because "next year" technically exists gets dangerously close to being organizational indecision, which is how you end up 7-9 in perpetuity.

And if you strike out on your non-QB first round draft pick, which the Raiders have some recent experience with, you're stuck with absolutely nothing at all. Then you have to go sign Gardner Minshew.