LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Aidan O’Connell is early leader in Raiders’ QB competition

May 10, 2024, 2:25 PM | Updated: 2:25 pm

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 30: Aidan O'Connell #4 of the Las Vegas Raiders warms up prior to their...

(Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

Aidan O’Connell started 10 games as a rookie for the Las Vegas Raiders and has shown further progression in the offseason.

So despite the addition of veteran Gardner Minshew, O’Connell is the early leader in the club’s quarterback battle.

“Aidan’s earned the right to go out there and earn the first snap,” Raiders coach Antonio Pierce said Friday. “What he’s done this offseason — changing his body, his work ethic, being here every day, blocking out the outside noise. He’s not worried about anything. I’m excited.

“Then you bring Gardner in here … talk about personality. … It’s great. It’s great for our building. It’s great for our quarterback room. And if you got competition in the quarterback room, what does every other room look at?”

O’Connell, 25, completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 2,218 yards, 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 11 games last season after being a fourth-round pick out of Purdue. He was 5-5 in his 10 starts.

He was especially good late in the season, firing eight touchdown passes against no interceptions over the final four games.

Minshew, who turns 28 next Thursday, was signed in the offseason as a free agent after spending last season with the Indianapolis Colts. He passed for 3,305 yards, 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 17 games (13 starts) and was a Pro Bowler for the first time.

But with the Colts committed to Anthony Richardson as their long-term option at quarterback, Minshew departed and chose the Raiders as his best option to get on the field in 2024.

Las Vegas general manager Tom Telesco says his team has two good options at quarterback competing for the job.

“That’s the plan is to have both those guys really compete through the offseason program, but more so in training camp, and we’ll see how it plays out,” Telesco said.

“I thought Aidan did an excellent job last year in a really difficult situation where the head coach changed, the (offensive) coordinator changed and he played really good football down the stretch. I’ve had a chance to be around him a little bit more in the building and you kind of see the quarterback intangibles that are there, which is nice to have, that you have to have as a franchise quarterback.

“And then with Gardner, you know, Gardner played well last year with the Colts. I mean, he was in the Pro Bowl, so obviously had a pretty good year. He’s always performed at a high level when he’s given that opportunity, so to have both those guys here competing for the job, we’ll see how it goes.”

Pierce is in his first full season as Raiders coach after replacing the fired Josh McDaniels at midseason and guiding Las Vegas to a 5-4 record over the final nine games. And he likes what he sees, while understanding that the season is still four months away.

“What I see is guys getting out there early,” Pierce said. “Aidan is already kind of taking the bull by the horn and he’s leading the way, and Minshew’s right there doing it as well.

“Two guys that played against each other last year, they went neck to neck. But I’m really excited to see what happens. I think it’s going to be a process. We’re going to stick to the process.”

–Field Level Media

Key offseason dates for the Aidan O’Connell & the Las Vegas Raiders

  • May 10-11 – Rookie Minicamp
  • May 20-21, May 23, May 28-29, May 31–OTAs
  • June 4-6 – Mandatory Minicamp

Thank you for reading SactownSports.com. Follow us on Twitter and Google News, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Newsletter

Las Vegas Raiders

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 22: Maxx Crosby #98 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates after a sack du...

Field Level Media

Report: Raiders DE Maxx Crosby receiving $6M raise

Maxx Crosby, the Las Vegas Raiders' star defensive end, will make an additional $6 million next season, ESPN reported on Thursday.

5 days ago

Oakland Raiders # 00 Jim Otto file photos. (Photo by James Flores/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *...

Field Level Media

Legendary Raiders C Jim Otto dies at 86

Legendary Oakland Raiders center Jim Otto, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, has died at the age of 86, the team announced Sunday.

9 days ago

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 12: Wide receiver Davante Adams #17 the Las Vegas Raiders reacts after...

Frankie Cartoscelli

Las Vegas Raiders release 2024 regular season schedule

Are you ready for some football? The Las Vegas Raiders have released the 2024 regular season schedule. Check it out here!

14 days ago

AUBURN, ALABAMA - SEPTEMBER 30: Brock Bowers #19 of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts after scoring the g...

Field Level Media

Las Vegas Raiders sign first-round pick Brock Bowers, others

The Las Vegas Raiders have signed first-round pick Brock Bowers and five other draft picks to contracts for the 2024 season.

19 days ago

Andrus Peat #75 of the New Orleans Saints lines up on the line of scrimmage during the first half o...

Amiliano Fragoso

Reports: Raiders set to sign former Pro Bowl OL Andrus Peat

Reports Monday stated that the Raiders signed OL Andrus Peat, giving coach Antonio Pierce more depth on the offensive line.

23 days ago

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 12: Jalen Guyton #15 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates a touc...

Field Level Media

Las Vegas Raiders sign free agent WR Jalen Guyton

The Las Vegas Raiders signed free agent wide receiver Jalen Guyton on Monday morning, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

23 days ago

Aidan O’Connell is early leader in Raiders’ QB competition