One Las Vegas Raiders position group will finally have some legitimate competition

The Las Vegas Raiders have two capable quarterbacks on their roster, making for an interesting battle this summer at training camp.
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Candice Ward/GettyImages

In 2023, Las Vegas Raiders rookie quarterback Aidan O'Connell set the franchise record for most wins as a rookie signal-caller. O'Connell was inserted as the full-time starting quarterback after Antonio Pierce took over as head coach, and he proved to be quite the steal as a Day 3 pick.

Looking back, outside of Houston Texans star CJ Stroud, one could make the argument that O'Connell was the best rookie quarterback in the NFL last season. Stroud is undoubtabley No. 1, but O'Connell played better than all other first-year quarterbacks, and really turned some heads with how well he played down the stretch.

With the Raiders releasing both Jimmy Garoppolo and Brian Hoyer, O'Connell is likely to go into training camp as the No. 1 quarterback. However, with the arrival of Gardner Minshew II in free agency, he is going to have some tough competition, something we have not seen at the quarterback position in a decade.

Raiders QB competition will be must-see TV all summer long

Minshew was a Pro Bowl nod as the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts last season, this after he took over for the injured Anthony Richardson. Known for his brazen play at the quarterback position, Minshew made the Raiders his desired destination in free agency, and is certain to get a long look from the coaching staff this offseason.

The edge has to go to O'Connell right now, however, as the coaching staff loves him, and he has the respect and trust of Pierce as his head coach. He showed the ability to play it cool under pressure last season, and towards the end of the year, led the Raiders to wins over all three fellow AFC West teams.

Las Vegas has not had a legitimate QB battle since back in 2014, when rookie Derek Carr stepped in and earned the starting nod out of Fresno State. The Raiders have plenty of other position battles to watch this season, but in the end, it will be the quarterback competition that takes center stage.