Josh Jacobs Offers Thoughts on Possible Rookie QB Targets for Raiders

josh jacobs

Getty Derek Carr handing ball off to Josh Jacobs.

After striking out on Tom Brady, the Las Vegas Raiders have been heavily linked to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. While he’s going to be in the Hall of Fame one day and would be an upgrade at quarterback, the team might be better off going young at the position. The team holds the No. 7 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and it’s a solid class to grab a franchise quarterback.

Running back Josh Jacobs is the Raiders’ top free agent and is looking to get paid. He’s said he’d like to stay with a team but adding an expensive quarterback like Rodgers would make that difficult to do. If Las Vegas decided to bring in a rookie, they’d have much more money to pay veteran players. During the 2023 Pro Bowl Games, Jacobs had a chance to discuss what he’s seen from the rookie quarterback class.

“I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t really watch too much college this year,” Jacobs told Heavy Sports when asked if he was interested in any of the top college quarterbacks. “I like bro from Ohio State [CJ Stroud]. Obviously, I like Bryce Young … he’s a dog. I also like the quarterback from Florida [Anthony Richardson]. … I mean it’s a lot of guys doing their thing right now, but it’s kind of weird when you will say, ‘do you want a rookie or not?’ I’ve gotten that question a few times. Because you know the league is different. You don’t know who’s gonna be good and who’s not or how fast they’re gonna pick up a new system or anything like that. So I don’t know.”

Drafting a Rookie Doesn’t Mean Raiders Are Rebuilding

The Raiders are just a year removed from making the playoffs so the idea of starting over at quarterback with a rookie might not be appealing to everybody. However, drafting a rookie doesn’t mean the team is rebuilding. Bryce Young and CJ Stroud are quarterbacks who could step in on Week 1 and play solid football.

It will take time for them to learn Josh McDaniels’ complex offense but the coach was able to take Mac Jones to playoffs as a rookie. The Raiders taking Stroud at No. 7 gives them a quarterback with All-Pro upside while also freeing up money to spend on fixing the defense. While Rodgers is great, the best long-term play is to go after a rookie.

Which Rookie QB Could Raiders Favor?

Stroud and Young sit atop the class but it’s possible that changes once the NFL Scouting Combine and pro days take place. Teams could be blown away by the athletic ability of Kentucky’s Will Levis or Florida’s Anthony Richardson. The Raiders are sitting with the seventh pick and should be able to get one of the top four guys if they stay put.

If they have a quarterback they really like, they may need to move up. The most obvious fit is Stroud. The Ohio State star is a pure pocket passer, which is what McDaniels likes. He’d be a very good fit with what the coach wants to do. He’s not as dynamic as the other four players but he’s got prototypical size at 6-foot-3 and has a strong enough arm to make any throw the Raiders would need him to.

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