Raiders Predicted to Land Young Star QB in 2024

jj mccarthy

Getty Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy.

When the season ended, it was widely expected the Las Vegas Raiders would look to add a franchise quarterback this offseason. Despite being linked to much bigger names, the team landed on signing Jimmy Garoppolo. However, even with the news of his signing, it was still expected the team would at least draft a quarterback early this year.

Las Vegas added Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell in the fourth round but he doesn’t project to be a franchise quarterback. Garoppolo will be serviceable for a year or two but the Raiders will eventually need to bring in somebody with more long-term upside. That could lead them to draft a quarterback early next year. There’s still a long way to go until next season and it remains to be seen if the Raiders will be any good. The Atheltic’s Dane Brugler decided to put together a 2024 mock draft and projected Las Vegas to pick at 15. With that pick, the team would select Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy.

“The fourth quarterback drafted in this mock, and you don’t need to squint to see the talent with McCarthy,” Brugler wrote. “He is a loose athlete for his size with NFL-level arm strength and the poise to make plays.”

Is McCarthy Going to Be Worthy of a 1st-Round Pick?

McCarthy was one of the top quarterbacks in the country coming out of high school. He didn’t play much as a freshman but was able to beat out incumbent starter Cade McNamara as a sophomore. He was dynamic in his first year as a starter and led the Wolverines to the college football playoff and their second-straight win over the Ohio State Buckeyes.

McCarthy is dynamic with his legs and is a threat in the running game. He threw 22 touchdowns to just five interceptions last season but didn’t dazzle with his arm as much as many would hope. He’ll have to take a leap in his junior year to prove he’s worthy of a first-round pick. He certainly has the talent to make it happen but he hasn’t cemented himself as a top prospect already the way USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye. He’ll be one of the most interesting quarterbacks to watch this college football season.

Would Raiders Trade up for Maye or Williams?

Williams is almost certainly going to be the No. 1 pick. That’s where Brugler has him getting selected in his mock draft. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner would have to have a very bad junior year for NFL teams to sour on him. The second-best prospect is Maye, who Brugler has going at No. 4.

If the Raiders stay healthy, they are likely too good to have a top-five pick. Josh Jacobs, Davante Admas and Maxx Crosby will carry them to enough wins to keep them out of the top five. That means if the Raiders truly want to find a top quarterback in the draft next year, they may need to trade up. Maye and Williams are very highly regarded so it’s going to take a haul. That’s something Las Vegas could consider giving up but nothing in Josh McDaniels’ background would suggest he’s willing to sell the farm for a quarterback. He’s confident in his ability to develop players at the position and would likely rather wait for a player like McCarthy to come to him.

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