Raiders HC Antonio Pierce Sends Message on QB Jayden Daniels

jayden daniels

Getty Former LSU QB Jayden Daniels.

The Las Vegas Raiders are in full force at the NFL Scouting Combine and are already meeting with top quarterback prospects. One of the first quarterbacks the team has met with is former LSU star and Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels, per a February 28 X post from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Daniels has frequently been linked to the Raiders due to the fact that head coach Antonio Pierce was his recruiting coordinator at Arizona State before he transferred to LSU. Pierce knows the young quarterback well and has a lot of positive things to say about him.

“When I was recruiting Jayden he was 150 pounds soaking wet. … But I saw him as a winner,” Pierce said during his February 28 media available, per The Atheltic’s Vic Tafur. “I saw a guy who was really competitive. Always out to prove people wrong. Been doubted his whole life because of his size or certain attributes about him physically or mentally and I think all he’s done is prove people wrong.”

Pierce’s early assessment of Daniels turned out to be correct as he developed into one of the best players in college football. He’s not expected to last past the No. 3 pick in the draft so if Pierce wants him, he’s going to have to trade up.

Antonio Pierce Talks Finding Franchise QB

The Raiders had major quarterback issues last season. 2023 fourth-round pick Aidan O’Connell ended up playing well to end the season but he doesn’t project to be a long-term starter.

Though Antonio Pierce has a defensive background, he understands how important it is to find the right quarterback. He made it clear that the Raiders are committed to finding a high-end franchise quarterback.

“You don’t want to put a Band-Aid at that position,” Pierce said, per Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “That’s old, man. I think the Raiders, we’ve seen that enough in this organization. And I know we had Derek Carr here for a bunch of years, but before him and after him, it’s been a bunch of one-stop guys.”

“You want the face of your franchise to be the quarterback,” he added. “To be that guy you can count on for the next 10 years.”

The problem facing the Raiders is that they don’t pick until No. 13 in the first round and most of the top quarterbacks will be off the board. However, Pierce isn’t afraid to trade up if that’s what it takes.

“That’s my personality, as you guys saw and witnessed,” Pierce said. “I’m a go-getter.”

Trading up could be expensive but it’s hard to put a price on a star quarterback. It could be the difference between winning the Super Bowl and missing the playoffs altogether.

Las Vegas Raiders Met With Caleb Williams

If the Raiders are going to trade up for a quarterback, Jayden Daniels is a bit more realistic than Caleb Williams. The former USC superstar is almost certainly going to be the No. 1 pick in the draft and the Chicago Bears don’t appear interested in trading down.

Despite that, the Raiders were among the teams to meet with Williams, per a February 28 X post from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

There’s nothing wrong with doing their due diligence but it’s difficult to see a scenario where Williams plays in Las Vegas next season.

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