‘Best-Case’ for Raiders is Poised 45-TD Quarterback: PFF

Bo Nix, a potential "best-case scenario" at Raiders quarterback.

Getty Bo Nix, a potential "best-case scenario" at Raiders quarterback.

It would be a bit of a surprise, especially if it happens at pick No. 13, but for Pro Football Focus, it would still be an “ideal” move in filling the hole at Raiders quarterback. PFF foresees the Raiders using the pick on Bo Nix, the 24-year-old Oregon star who was No. 2 in the nation with 4,508 yards passing and No. 1 in touchdowns with 45.

Most mock drafts have Nix falling into the second round, and even PFF has Nix as the No. 35 overall prospect in this draft. But he is also the No. 5 quarterback on the board, and if the first three picks wind up all going to the QB trio of Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels, then the next two quarterbacks figure to J.J. McCarthy and Nix.

If McCarthy lands with Denver at No. 12, that leaves the Raiders to take Nix, who might be the most NFL-ready quarterback in the draft as a five-year starter, first at Auburn and then at Oregon. His age might be a negative in some contexts, but not for the Raiders who need a quarterback quickly.

Raiders Quarterback Spot Could Head in Many Directions

The Raiders could go in a number of directions with their quarterback situation, where incumbent Aidan O’Connell will still get a chance to win the job. A trade or free-agent signing is a possibility. But using the first-rounder on a quarterback is a risk on a team that has a number of holes to fill.

Here’s how PFF put it: “They need a quarterback but don’t necessarily have a premium pick, sitting one spot behind the Broncos in the first round. They do, however, seem to be more open to acquiring someone like Russell Wilson or another veteran.

“Even if the Raiders do go that route, they very well could draft Oregon’s Bo Nix or Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy to develop on the bench. Nix could be the preferred option as a quick-rhythm passer the team was looking for when they signed Jimmy Garoppolo last offseason.”

O’Connell was not bad last year, and did show some improvement, throwing for 2,218 yards and putting up a quarterback rating of 83.9, decent enough for a rookie who took over at midseason. He deserves a shot at keeping the job, but the Raiders also must make sure they have other options, both in the short-term and long-term.

Bo Nix: ‘Great Improvement With his Pocket Poise’

As for Nix, he is the son of Patrick Nix, the former Auburn quarterback, and struggled badly after a solid freshman season at Auburn. He transferred as a junior and his career took off in the Ducks wide-open offense. There is some concern that his production was the result of the system as much as his talent, but there is no question he showed arm strength and maturity.

NFL.com’s draft analyst Lance Zeurlein compared Nix to Tony Romo.

“Nix displays the accuracy, arm talent and athleticism consistent with today’s brand of pro quarterback,” Zeurlein wrote. “He can be punctual in getting the ball out at the top of his drop or he can work through progressions and beat defenses with second-reaction plays. He throws with good velocity and puts the ball on the money when throwing on the move. Nix has shown great improvement with his pocket poise. He’s capable of moving the sticks as a scrambler or as part of the running game.

“Some of his gaudy production has been driven by the Oregon offense’s design, but his talent clearly stands out.”

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