Raiders news: Could Aidan O'Connell prove to be a steal and the future in Las Vegas?

Las Vegas Raiders Offseason Workout
Las Vegas Raiders Offseason Workout / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The Las Vegas Raiders drafted Aidan O'Connell in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, but what are the real expectations for him in Year 1?

For the past nine years, there has been no real question at the quarterback position for the Raiders franchise. The Silver and Black have trotted out Derek Carr since Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season, his first in the league, and outside of being benched with two games remaining in 2022, he has manned the position without much competition.

However, things went sideways for Carr and the Raiders organization last season, and he was released by the team on Valentine's Day. In his place, the Raiders went out and signed free agent veteran Jimmy Garoppolo to be the starter, a player with familiarity with head coach Josh McDaniels during their time in New England.

In addition, the Raiders added another former Patriots quarterback in Brian Hoyer, and then went out and drafted Purdue signal-caller Aidan O'Connell. Not many expect to see O'Connell in much game action in Year 1, but what happens if Garoppolo or the Raiders struggle, and the team has to turn to him in 2023.

Do the Raiders have a hidden gem in O'Connell?

Yesterday, Trevor Sikkema, a draft analyst from Pro Football Focus went on NFL Total Access to discuss the AFC West. On the show, Sikkema stated that the Raiders could end up going to O'Connell late in the season, and his gunslinger mentality could lead to a few Las Vegas wins down the stretch.

Garoppolo has a history of gettin injured, and the Raiders could end up struggling to stack wins in a strong AFC West in 2023. If that is the case, the franchise would be wise to see what they have in O'Connell and whether or not they need to be major players for a new quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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The draft is never a perfect process and we have seen plenty of Day 1 quarterback flounder out of the league before making any real contributions. We have also seen guys picked on Day 2 or 3 become stars, so the Raiders would be doing themselves a disservice if they do not at least see what O'Connell can do at the next level.