Aidan O'Connell, Las Vegas Raiders rookie quarterback

Is Aidan O’Connell The Raiders Future At QB? Plus Richie Incognito Has High Hopes for Las Vegas’ OL

After one preseason game, Aidan O’Connell’s stock is rising; but can he be the Las Vegas Raiders’ future starting quarterback? Meanwhile, Richie Incognito has high hopes for the Silver and Black’s offensive line in pass protection.

The O’Connelhype train continues to get louder after the Raiders’ 34-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. The Purdue product’s performance even has NFL pundits thinking he might be the future quarterback for Las Vegas. If the 24-year-old were to see action this upcoming 2023 NFL season, he’d need a clean pocket to succeed. Well, Incognito believes the Raiders’ offensive line will keep whoever is under center upright.

Is Aidan O’Connell the Raiders’ QB of the future?

The O’Connell hype train left the station after the rookie completed 15-of-18 passes for 141 yards and one touchdown against the 49ers. Las Vegas invested a fourth-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft to select the signal-caller.

While O’Connell is a project for head coach Josh McDaniels, NBC Sports‘ Chris Simms and Mike Florio discussed the rookie’s potential. The Raiders are in the AFC West, and each team in their division has a franchise quarterback.

The Silver and Black are the odd team out, but Simms notes that Sunday’s performance is a step in the right direction for the two-time second-team All-Big Ten signal caller.

“[O’Connell is] their kind of guy,” Simms said on Pro Football Talk Monday. “He’s a New England stand-in-the-pocket big, make-a-decision [type of player]. Ball’s in a tight window, so what? Throw it in there. That’s what he did at Purdue.”

“[He has shown] the ability to stand in there, make throws, make the right decisions. He showed that in college. It’s not wowing. But it’s damn good. And, yeah, they need him to get going … Aiden O’Connell needs to be ready. They need to get him those reps. [Sunday’s win over the 49ers] was a really good start for him.”

O’Connell doesn’t need to be under center right away. This season the young quarterback can learn on the sidelines from Jimmy Garoppolo. The veteran signed a three-year contract with the Raiders this offseason, so there’s no rush for the fourth-round pick to take over. Barring any performance issues or injury to Garoppolo, O’Connell will have ample time to sit back and get familiar with McDaniels’ offense. Still, this is the NFL, and he’ll have to answer if an opportunity comes calling early.

It’s only one preseason game, Raider Nation, but are you already on the O’Connell hype train? Or, do you still need more tape to decide; let us know.

Richie Incognito gives glowing review of the Silver and Black’s OL

Whether it’s Aidan O’Connell or Jimmy Garoppolo under center, the team’s signal caller will need time in the pocket. Regardless of who it is, Incognito believes the quarterback will have plenty of time to find the talented weapons on the Raiders’ roster.

On the ground, the offensive line played a key role in Josh Jacobs winning the NFL rushing title last season. This means the unit has both pass and run-blocking potential. While the former Raiders offensive lineman has high hopes for the group, he still wants questions answered before Week 1.

“I feel good about them, and I felt good about them going into last year; there was a lot to prove,” Incognito told Vegas Sports Today. “I knew the guys had the work ethic; I knew the guys had the tenacity; I knew the guys had the wherewithal to kind of weather the storm. There was a lot of outside talk about the offensive line not being good, but those guys got to work, and they proved themselves.”

“So, I really just kind of want to see that right side solidified. I want to see those guys come together. I want to see where our top two backups are, because those guys are going to have to play a ton, so a lot of questions to be answered this preseason.”

ESPN recently had Kolton Miller as one of the top players at his position. However, Pro Football Network ranked the Raiders’ offensive line No. 18, so the unit might come off as average. It’s important to keep in mind that’s merely a prediction, and by no means dictates how the O-line will actually play. The outlet had Las Vegas’ offensive line ranked 30th one calendar year ago, but that didn’t stop them from performing valiantly.

With the quarterbacks that Las Vegas will face this season, they could find themselves in shootouts. If McDaniels and Co. want to keep up, then the Silver and Black’s offense will have to be up to the task. That starts with the offensive line.

*Top Photo: Las Vegas Sun

Join The Ramble Email List

error: Nice Try!
Subscribe to RaiderRamble

Get updates from RaiderRamble via email:

Join 6,247 other subscribers