It’s preseason; we get it. Still, if you were in attendance at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, there’s no way you weren’t in touch with Aidan O’Connell. The rookie quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders thoroughly impressed; even Maxx Crosby agrees with that sentiment.
Aidan O’Connell displayed some notable potential in the Raiders’ preseason opener…
While speaking with Rich Gannon and Matt Millen during the game, the Raiders’ defensive leader was candid in his assessment of O’Connell.
“Aidan is a baller. You could see what he does out there; he’s not second-guessing himself. He’s letting it rip; you can just see him out here just playing with swagger and confidence, making plays consistently.”
Many folks will point to the San Francisco 49ers not playing their starters in Week 1 of the preseason, but that doesn’t take away from what we learned from AOC4. He stood in the pocket, displayed poise, and led the Raiders downfield. Mind you, he did this without the likes of Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, or Jakobi Meyers—the Raiders’ vaunted receiver corps. Some of the passes that O’Connell threw were dropped; however, that doesn’t take away from the quality of them. Clearly, this young man wants that QB2 gig.
O’Connell hanging out with a cooooooool 117.8 QB Rating. https://t.co/wkpv5PuL5r
— Eddie Paskal (@EddiePaskal) August 13, 2023
Maxx Crosby likes what he sees from his rookie QB
Speaking of poise, Maxx Crosby saw the same thing himself on Sunday from O’Connell. Who knows? Maybe general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels were onto something when they chose the Purdue product.
“I love it; you can just feel it. For a young guy, he’s got a ton of confidence and poise. He’s letting it fly.”
To say he “let it fly” is putting it mildly. Again, context is important, the likelihood of O’Connell doing this against a defense full of All-Pros and Pro Bowlers is low. Even so, this doesn’t take away from the big picture; for a young player who had never played in an NFL setting, going 15 of 18 for 141 yards with a beautiful touchdown pass to boot, that’s noteworthy.
It’s early in the preseason, but if Aidan O’Connell keeps this up, there’s no reason to think he won’t be Jimmy Garoppolo’s backup when the Raiders face the Denver Broncos to open the 2023 campaign.
*Top Photo: NFL Network