Reading the Tea Leaves: A Look at Why Every Mock Draft Should Have the Raiders Taking a Quarterback in Round One of the Draft

With the hiring of Antonio Pierce, the Raiders’ offseason is off to an encouraging start, and the only real surprise of the last few weeks was the hiring of new general manager Tom Telesco.

Telesco was never considered one of the top two candidates for the job, but he seemed to show up at the right time for his second interview and leap past Champ Kelly and Ed Dodds at the last minute.

Kelly had long been considered the favorite to get the job, and it has been reported that the hope of the organization (i.e. Mark Davis?) was to find a way to hire both Kelly and Dodds to roles within the organization.

ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez appeared on Raider Nation Radio’s Unnecessary Roughness with Q Myers last week and he reiterated what had been reported for weeks on the status of Kelly and Pierce…

“Honestly, back when these promotions were made, the day after Halloween, at that point I actually got the sense from ownership that they were more impressed and excited with Champ [Kelly] potentially being the GM than they were with Antonio being the coach going forward. Somewhere along the line, that switched and that flipped.”

Davis and one or two of his trusted media resources have hinted that Pierce was always the frontrunner for the job, but that feeling didn’t start gaining real traction until the Raiders beat the Chiefs in Kansas City. There is probably a little revisionist history to some of the newest narratives around Pierce’s candidacy, but in the end the Raiders made the sensible decision and removed the interim label from Pierce’s job title.

As for Kelly, something must have changed in the days leading up to Telesco’s hiring, and it’s fair to wonder if his direction for the organization didn’t fit with the owner’s plan.

Just prior to Telesco being announced as the new GM, JT the Brick made a comment on his Raider Nation Radio show that might have offered a clue to why Kelly didn’t get the job.

This was JT’s comment at the time

“Clearly, trading up to get a quarterback, it’s going to have to be aggressive. The Raiders are going to have to give up a lot. Wink, wink. That’s why I think the GM who is announced, whoever it is, is going to have to have a plan to go get that quarterback. That’s a nice little secret I just gave you. I think it’s very accurate. Whoever the GM is going to be probably had to prove in several interviews that he has the ability to go get a quarterback in the first round.”

From the outside, it’s fair to wonder if Telesco’s willingness to be aggressive for a quarterback in the draft is what catapulted him ahead of Kelly and Dodds for the job.

The Raiders still have more than two months to evaluate quarterbacks, and it feels like a safe bet that they will take a quarterback in the first round. There are six quarterbacks that could potentially be taken in the first round, and a couple of them should be on the board when the Raiders are on the clock at pick 13.

Of course, a trade up for Caleb Williams or Jaden Daniels is something that might excite Davis even more.

Ultimately, this feels like the year Mark Davis isn’t going to be happy without a top young quarterback on the roster, and there’s a good chance that Telesco was hired by the team, in large part, because he was the candidate most willing to make that happen.

For now, all mock drafts to Las Vegas should point to quarterback.

And for what it’s worth… the Raiders might not be the only team in the AFC West loading up for one of the top quarterbacks in the draft.

Cecil Lammey on Twitter: “There is a belief by many in the scouting community that Sean Payton has something cooking for the early portion of the #NFLDraft People I trust DO NOT see DEN waiting for a falling QB, These evaluators believe the #Broncos will make a BIG move up for a QB. @DenverSportsCom / Twitter”

There is a belief by many in the scouting community that Sean Payton has something cooking for the early portion of the #NFLDraft People I trust DO NOT see DEN waiting for a falling QB, These evaluators believe the #Broncos will make a BIG move up for a QB. @DenverSportsCom

twitter: @raidersbeat


13 thoughts on “Reading the Tea Leaves: A Look at Why Every Mock Draft Should Have the Raiders Taking a Quarterback in Round One of the Draft

  1. I still will never forgive them for passing on Jalen Carter. Carter would have probably been out best defensive player. I hope we get a QB, and please let it NOT be Caleb. Caleb might be the worst of the QBs chosen in the top 3, he might be a bust. The talent is there, but he is a headcase. Let us please not count on O’Connell.

  2. Do it Raiders! Send Adams to the jets for a 1st, 4th and 7th round. Its steep but Rodgers wants and needs Adams. Package that 1st, the raiders 2024 1st, raiders 2025 1st and Meyers raider receiver. Mayer stays in LV. Those 3 ,1st round picks and Meyers to the Bears for their 1st pick.👍👍👍👍😳

  3. We dont need a QB. We didnt need one last year. O’Connell is fine and outperformed a few 1st rd draft picks. GoFlopALo is backing him up for 1 more year, get aggressive with your first round pick pn a mauler offensive lineman. The only way to the playoffs is a dominant line on both sides of the ball. Replace whoever the weakest links were on the OL and DL with the first 2 picks sounds like a good idea to me.

    1. If they go with the plan your talking about just be ready to be in last place a lot cause you already got Mahomes and Herbert in the division. Then word is Denver is going to do whatever to go up and grab their QB of the future. While we’re stuck with mediocre can’t scramble to save his life Aiden O’Connell. Yeah that’s the plan the raiders are going with. I don’t think so man.

  4. Gotta say, Larry, that’s probably the most sensible comment on the Raiders’ draft I’m going to read in the next couple of months:)

    1. We need to keep our picks.or if we can move up to 9th and trade with the bears ahead of Denver.or stay put and hope for Penix Jr to be at 13th when we draft 🙏 and get him. Then we can Draft DL. or OL in the 2nd, 3rd rounds. If Penix is not there we can get Nix I know that’s high for Nix.but if Penix is not there we maybe just wait until next year. Cause we’ll have a losing record and we can get a QB next year. I know Mark Davis wouldn’t like that. They’ll be at least 2QB’s I can think of that I’ll be watching this year for the 2025 draft.

  5. This is so stupid why don’t we go get Kirk cousins right now and then still do whatever you want with quarterback at the draft we have Aiden O’Connell to back up Kirk cousins if he gets hurt don’t get rid of Adams he wants to play with Kirk cousins or a good quarterback like that

  6. The guy can throw 40 touchdowns in a season he is the man. We need red zone tds and offensive line men to keep him up right

  7. AOC will be so good after learning from him and then taking over. Aiden’s perfect for 4 yards 4 yards 4yards oh ya that first down and so on and so forth. Gruden would rip it up with him and our run game. Crap come on we got this. I’m not afraid of no chiefs. Rrraaaaaaiiidddeeeerrrrrsssss!!!!!

  8. I’ve seen 3 mock drafts. They all have the Raiders taking an OT. 3 first round picks? Sounds like something Gruden would do.

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