Raiders make bold QB move by trading up for Purdue star Aidan O’Connell as Jimmy Garoppolo backup

The Las Vegas Raiders selected Aidan O’Connell with the 135th overall choice in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft as a Jimmy Garoppolo backup.

To choose O’Connell, the Raiders sent New England the 144th and 214th overall picks. He will share the Raiders QB room with Brian Hoyer and Jimmy G. The former Boilermaker will have the opportunity to develop in that situation as a competent backup with potential in McDaniels’ offense.

How good is Aidan O’Connell?

The 24-year-old is a solid candidate for the role of a McDaniels signal-caller because he has a ton of experience, a good pocket delivery, the ability to move through progressions, and the desire to reach his check-downs.

O’Connell is a pure pocket passer who completes 66.7% of his throws for Purdue with exceptional precision and timing. With a 71.6% completion rate in 2021, he established a school single-season record.

The former walk-on amassed 9,219 throwing yards with 65 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in 33 games, including 27 starts, for the Boilermakers. He received second-team All-Big Ten honors in each of the previous two years.

O’Connell is skinny and doesn’t have much speed, but at 6-foot-3, he has terrific size, clever reads, exceptional accuracy, and fantastic ball placement between the hashes. He won’t succeed outside of the pocket, but he can be an offensive distributor.

He is a native of Long Grove, Illinois, and played football at Stevenson High School, where he didn’t make his debut until his senior year. After that, he broke all of the school records with 2,471 throwing yards and 26 passing touchdowns. Among the top 30 visitors to Las Vegas was O’Connell. He was there at the Raiders’ Pro Day as well.

Shahbaj Arefin

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Shahbaj Arefin is a professional Sports Content Writer at SportsZion. He mostly covers NBA, alongside NFL and MLB. His favorite basketball player is Michael Jordan. Arefin is also a football enthusiast. He is a die-hard supporter of Argentina and Chelsea FC, frequently posting on Facebook during the their matches.


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