Raiders news: Aidan O'Connell deserves every chance to be QB1 again in 2024

The Las Vegas Raiders added Gardner Minshew this offseason, but Aidan O'Connell deserves every chance to retain his starting job.

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Candice Ward/GettyImages
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When the Las Vegas Raiders selected Aidan O'Connell in the fourth-round of the 2023 NFL Draft, nobody thought much of the move. That offseason, Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels tapped their New England Patriots past to add Jimmy Garoppolo and Brian Hoyer at the quarterback position, so O'Connell was expected to sit and learn in Year 1.

But as fate would have it, O'Connell was thrown into the fire early in his rookie season, and when Antonio Pierce took over as interim head coach, he was given the starting job for good. O'Connell made good on Pierce's confidence, beating all three other AFC West teams down the stretch of the season, and keeping the Raiders alive in the playoff race until Week 17.

While O'Connell's rookie season was shockingly productive, many in Raider Nation felt he would be a one-and-done at the position. With so many star prospects coming into the league via the 2024 NFL Draft, and veteran available in free agency, the thought by some was that O'Connell would go back to holding a clipboard in 2024.

However, based on his play towards the end of the season, O'Connell definitely deserves every opportunity to continue to be the starting quarterback of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Raiders adding competition to the QB room

The Raiders have added to the quarterback room already this offseason, signing Gardner Minshew in free agency. Coming off a Pro Bowl season with the Indianapolis Colts, Minshew was an excellent signing for the Silver and Black, and he plays the game with the kind of swagger that will make him a fan favorite in Las Vegas.

Barring a shocking trade by Tom Telesco to move up and get one of the elite quarterbacks in this year's draft class, the Raiders are likely going to select one of the second-tier signal-callers in 2024. That means the starting job is likely going to come down to a competition between Minshew and O'Connell, and based on what we saw last year, the second-year quarterback should be QB1 heading into camp.

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