Raiders’ Antonio Pierce Sends Eye-Opening Message on J.J. McCarthy

jj mccarthy

Getty Former Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy.

With the Las Vegas Raiders not picking until No. 13 in the 2024 NFL Draft, it will prove difficult for them to get one of the top three quarterbacks in the draft. Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels are widely considered the top three prospects but there’s another quarterback who has been flying up draft boards.

Former Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy has arguably been the biggest riser of the draft. There’s even some talk that he could work his way to being one of the first three quarterbacks off the board. Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce seems to think that McCarthy has a strong claim to being one of the first three players off the board at the position.

“I wouldn’t even put them in the next group of guys because there’s some people that probably see them as No. 2 or No. 3,” Pierce said during his March 25 media availability. “We don’t know everybody’s board. I think it’s a very talented group. We interviewed most of those guys at the combine. We had great conversations with them. J.J. McCarthy, you’re talking about a national champion, a winner. So, I don’t know how he’s not in the top three.”

Based on Pierce’s comments, it sounds like the Raiders would be comfortable drafting McCarthy if he were to be available to them. However, it’s looking more and more likely he won’t make it past the No. 4 pick. If Las Vegas thinks that McCarthy can be the quarterback of the future, the Arizona Cardinals at No. 4 would be the team’s best trade-up option.

Antonio Pierce Praises Michael Penix & Bo Nix

After J.J. McCarthy is off the board, Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix would likely be next in line. It’s debatable if either quarterback is worth a first-round pick, but Antonio Pierce gave them a lot of praise.

“And then you look at Bo Nix, I mean, what is it, 61 career starts? Like, come on, man,” Pierce said. “That’s crazy. Even Penix taking his guys to the national championship with the University of Washington.

“You want a certain quarterback and you’ve got your eye on one or two or three, but I think you can’t go wrong in this year’s draft with any of these guys. Now, do they pan out? I don’t know. It’s the fit. It’s when they get brought along. It’s the system. A lot of things come into play.”

Penix and Nix could be available to the Raiders at No. 13 and they wouldn’t need to trade up. Any top quarterback prospect could be a target of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Raiders Going to Be Patient Solving QB Position

It’s no secret that the Raiders need a quarterback and Antonio Pierce has been honest about the need. However, he doesn’t want the team to force the issue just for the sake of adding a quarterback.

“It all depends on the quarterback you’re getting,” Pierce said. “Do you want to throw him into the fire? No. I don’t think that’s the best way. I played with a guy like Eli Manning. He was the first pick overall … and didn’t become the starter until Year 2. There’s a thousand ways to skin a cat. We’ll do what’s best for the player and ourselves going forward.”

The Raiders aren’t going to be realistic Super Bowl contenders until they find a franchise quarterback but trading multiple picks just to add the wrong one would be a major setback.

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