The Las Vegas Raiders have a lot of needs entering the offseason but none is bigger than the need at quarterback. Derek Carr was recently released and currently visiting with other teams. He will not be back. The Kansas City Chiefs just won their second Super Bowl in four years while the Los Angeles Chargers made the playoffs and the Denver Broncos just hired Sean Payton as head coach. The AFC West only continues to become more difficult.
Running it back with Jarrett Stidham or signing Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t get the Raiders over the hump. They need a quarterback who can go toe-to-toe with the quarterbacks in the AFC. There’s been talk of an Aaron Rodgers trade but he’s going to turn 40 during the season and would only keep the team in contention for a couple of years. If they want to build a sustainable offense, the Raiders should strongly consider drafting a quarterback. Tashan Reed of The Athletic pitched a trade with the Arizona Cardinals to move the team up to No. 3 and draft Alabama’s Bryce Young:
That’s exactly what we did in this scenario, trading picks No. 7 and 38 in 2023 and a 2024 third-round pick to the Cardinals for the No. 3 pick. The Texans drafted Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud at No. 2, but we wound up with the player we consider the best quarterback in the draft: Alabama’s Bryce Young. Young is listed at only 6 foot, 194 pounds and has good — not great — arm talent, but he has exceptional intelligence, instincts, pocket presence and accuracy. He’s remarkably mature, advanced and poised for his age and would step in as the Year 1 starter.
Analyst Compares Young to Patrick Mahomes
Young is widely considered the top quarterback in the draft but that could change as the offseason goes on. Some teams may be concerned by his lack of size, which Reed noted. That’s the only concern with his game. He’s an accurate thrower who possesses great leadership traits. ESPN’s Todd McShay is very high on Young and had a lofty comparison for the quarterback.
“When you study the tape—and I love C.J. Stroud, and I think he has a chance to be a really good player. … To me, Bryce Young is a smaller version of Patrick Mahomes,” McShay said on a February 15 episode of ESPN’s “Get Up.” “He’s so poised inside the pocket. He has an understanding of where pressure is coming from. He can carry your football team.”
Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL so there have been a number of players compared to him over the years. Jordan Love and Trey Lance were two recent players compared to the Chiefs star but neither has come close to living up to that comparison. Young will hope to break that trend.
Is Young the Right Fit With Raiders?
Head coach Josh McDaniels could favor Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud due to his ability as a pocket passer. Young can make plays in the pocket but what makes him special is his ability to extend plays outside of the pocket. McDaniels may not like to have a player who improvises so much.
That said, this is the AFC West. If Young is the best quarterback available to the Raiders, they should do what they can to get him. Stroud could be a very good player but Young has a higher upside. The Raiders might need to take a big swing on a playmaker if they hope to catch the Chiefs.