The Las Vegas Raiders will have to make a difficult decision regarding their future starting quarterback. Las Vegas already benched their free agent acquisition, Jimmy Garoppolo, after a poor start to the 2023 season. Rookie Aidan O’Connell will likely be the starter for the rest of the 2023 season.
The Las Vegas Raiders rookie didn’t start in his first two seasons in college.
O’Connell originally committed to play college football at Wheaton College but changed his mind and committed to Purdue as a walk-on for the 2017 season. He didn’t appear in any games for his first two seasons.
O’Connell saw playing time for the last four seasons with Purdue.
O’Connell played in six games and started in three during the 2019 season. He went 103/164 for 1,101 passing yards, 62.8% completion percentage, 6.7 yards per attempt, eight passing touchdowns, and four interceptions.
O’Connell entered the 2020 season as the starter. He went 88/136 for 916 passing yards and threw seven touchdowns and two interceptions in three games. He missed the rest of the season with a foot injury.
O’Connell entered the 2021 season as the backup to Jack Plummer. O’Connell eventually took over as the starting quarterback for the rest of the season. He went 315/439 for 3,712 passing yards, 71.8% completion percentage, 8.5 yards per attempt, 28 passing touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. O’Connell returned for his final season with Purdue.
O’Connell remained the starter in his final season with Purdue. He went 320/499 for 3,490 passing yards, 64.1% completion percentage, 7 yards per attempt, 22 passing touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. O’Connell declared for the 2023 NFL Draft.
O’Connell’s path to the draft.
The Las Vegas Raiders drafted Aidan O’Connell in the 4th round, 135th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. He was the 8th QB selected in the draft. He signed a 4-year, $4,349,380 rookie contract with $509,380 guaranteed.
O’Connell’s rookie season.
O’Connell started the season as the backup to Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo suffered a concussion in Week 3 and missed Week 4. O’Connell got his first career start in Week 4. He went 24/39 for 238 passing yards and one interception. He was sacked seven times and fumbled three times. He also rushed for three yards on three carries and one touchdown in their 17-24 loss.
Garoppolo returned to action as the starter for Week 5. He left Week 6 with a back injury and missed Week 7. Brian Hoyer filled in for Garoppolo in Week 6 and started in Week 7. Hoyer struggled in that game, and O’Connell finished the game.
Garoppolo returned to action in Week 8 and struggled.
The Raiders fired their head coach.
The Raiders fired head coach Josh McDaniels and replaced him with Antonio Pierce. Pierce named Aidan O’Connell the starter moving forward.
The Raiders defeated the Giants 30-6 in Week 9. O’Connell went 16/25 for 209 yards.
The Raiders defeated the Jets 16-12 in Week 10. O’Connell went 16/27 for 153 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
O’Connell is 66/104 for 675 yards, two passing touchdowns, and three interceptions with a 2-1 record.
If O’Connell continues to win as the Raiders’ starting quarterback, he might end up being the starter long-term.
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