Raiders Notes: Aidan O'Connell, Charles Wodson weighs in Raiders preseason

Aidan O’Connell to Climb Raiders QB Depth Chart? Plus, Charles Woodson Talks Josh Jacobs

Is Raiders rookie Aidan O’Connell poised to move up the team’s depth chart? He’s staying ready, that’s for sure. A notable musing that happened earlier this week revolved around Charles Woodson and, you guessed it, Josh Jacobs.

The Las Vegas Raiders invested a fourth-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft to pick O’Connell. Although the Purdue product might be third on the quarterback depth chart, he doesn’t intend to stay there for long. The 24-year-old will likely trust the process and be ready should his number be called this 2023 season. 

While O’Connell looks to climb the depth chart, Jacobs has yet to return to take his top spot among the running backs. The 25-year-old isn’t at training camp after he and Las Vegas failed to agree on a contract extension this offseason. Nonetheless, Raiders legend Charles Woodson hopes the Alabama product will return soon.

There’s plenty of news regarding the Silver and Black, so let’s look at the latest.

Raiders rookie Aidan O’Connell looks to climb QB depth chart

Jimmy Garoppolo is the Raiders starting quarterback, and Brian Hoyer is likely the backup. Nonetheless, O’Connell will be in his element, having to start from the bottom of the depth chart and climb up. The rookie began at the bottom at Purdue and eventually became the starting quarterback.

The two-time second-team All-Big Ten signal-caller will lean on his college experience to help him navigate this similar situation.

“I started pretty low on the totem pole at Purdue and through just different circumstances was able to rise up the depth chart,” O’Connell said Wednesday (h/t Associated Press). “That’s definitely helpful. There are things you can bring over from college, but at the same time, it’s a completely new experience. 

“So as much as I can rely on what I’ve been through, at the same time, you’ve got to look forward and continue to press forward.”

Despite being QB3 on the depth chart, O’Connell can use this preseason to build confidence. After all, it’s football, and no player knows when a starting opportunity arises.

Furthermore, Garoppolo got first-hand experience seeing the rise of Brock Purdy with the San Francisco 49ers last season. Trey Lance suffered a season-ending injury, and Garoppolo missed the second half of last season. So Purdy found himself under center after being the third quarterback.

Purdy went from having the “Mr. Irrelevant” label to having the 49ers one game away from the Super Bowl. As a result, should the Raiders need him at any point this season, O’Connell is doing the work behind the scenes to be ready.

O’Connell is making all the correct remarks and has the right mentality. So, Raiders fans, do you think the rookie will impress enough to climb the depth chart? Let us know.

Charles Woodson holds out hope for Josh Jacobs’ return to the Raiders

Regarding the depth chart, Jacobs will obviously be at the top of the running back position. However, the current NFL rushing champion isn’t at training camp, and there’s no telling when he’ll return. The Raiders star has to calculate his decision as he has no long-term contract security should an injury occur.

If Jacobs returns to Las Vegas, he can only play on the franchise tag or a separate agreed upon one-year deal. Even though Jacobs isn’t in camp and everyday trade rumors surfaced, Woodson still hopes that Jacobs will suit up for the Silver and Black this season.

“[Jacobs is] a guy that I’m hopeful that they can work a deal out because you got a new quarterback coming in,” Woodson told Rich Eisen on The Rich Eisen Show Wednesday. “You got Davante [Adams], who you brought over a year ago, who wants to win, and Jimmy G is going to need him in that backfield just to take a load off of him. 

“So, yeah, man, I’m hoping that they can get him signed and, at the same time, understanding that these guys are looking at the business side of things more so than they ever have.” 

Another former Green Bay Packer, Greg Jennings, believes that the Raiders need Jacobs in the fold. Jennings recently stated that putting the offensive load on “Jimmy G” will see the team play with fire. The veteran quarterback isn’t on the “elite” tier to be shouldering the offense without a quality run game. 

Woodson likely isn’t alone in his hope, as many fans await that alert on their phones letting them know Jacobs is returning to the Raiders.

*Top Photo: AP Photo/Sam Morris

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