If you are one of those people that thinks the Las Vegas Raiders had a disappointing 2023 season, shut up and listen.
Yes, they could have been better and let down many NFL weekly predictions experts who had them projected to be a much better squad, but it was mainly because of Josh McDaniels and his inability to coach the team.
Once Antonio Pierce took over, the team not only became a competitive squad, but it became a team worth watching and betting on.
Now that the Raiders have decided to hire Tom Telesco as general manager and with Pierce coming back full time as the team’s head coach, what should Las Vegas focus on to become a contender once again?
NFL Draft: Hey Raiders, How Does Drafting A QB Sound?
I think it’s time we all agree on one thing: Jimmy Garoppolo did not work as starting quarterback for the Raiders. Nor will he work moving forward.
As a veteran backup? Maybe.
But as a starter? Never.
Aidan O’Connell tried his best, and I commend him on that. But, just like Jimmy G, he won’t work for Las Vegas’ plans moving forward.
So where does that leave the Raiders? On the one hand, they could try and hit free agency to try and snatch up another overpaid veteran passer.
Hopefully the team learned its lesson with Garoppolo and that won’t happen again.
On the other hand, there is the 2024 NFL Draft, where the QB class is filled to the brim with talent. That’s something I feel all Raiders fans could easily back.
So, who should Telesco, the former general manager of the LA Chargers, and Pierce target?
If it was up to me, I would go with LSU’s Jayden Daniels. I know, the team already had a horrible experience picking a quarterback from LSU.
Yes Jamarcus Russell, it’s you I’m talking about. You bum.
But Daniels is not Russell, nor will he ever be. Thank God.
Daniels offers a skillset that experienced veterans possess. He handles himself with calm in the pocket, knowing how to glide in and out of it without any real pressure. His timing is elite, his passing skills fit the bill just right for what the Raiders need, and he feels like the best prospect for what Las Vegas needs.
— dustin (@DJ_DoesSports) January 24, 2024
He also likely will not be available unless the Raiders trade up, so, how about Washington’s Michael Penix Jr.? With a cannon for an arm and the experience of a six-year college football career, he might bring the right mix of savviness and pop this offense needs.
Whoever it may be, once the Raiders are on the clock with the 13th pick, they need to get a QB.
Afterward, landing help for the offensive line, a cornerback prospect and a running back to add depth should do the trick.
Free Agency: Call Me Crazy, But What If …
Alright hear me out with this before you decide I’m just crazy. If you jump into any NFL news site covering the coming free-agent market, one name that will most likely pop up as the most interesting and enticing player up for grabs is none other than Kansas City Chiefs star defensive tackle Chris Jones.
Jones is not just one of the best pass rushers in the league, he’s one of the best pass rushers in history, and it can be easily argued he is still in his prime.
Just imagine the havoc he and Maxx Crosby would cause opposing offenses.
Just by having Jones and Crosby pairing up, Las Vegas would automatically become a lock for any NFL game predictions next season and onward.
It’s a thing of art and violent poetic football justice.
The Raiders, a team known for a physical playing style, have longed to have a player with the skills of Jones leading their defense.
If Pierce, Telesco, and the Raiders are being for real about wanting to turn this team around, especially when it comes to forming a true winning culture, having a player like Jones is definitely the best way to start.
Outlook: With Pierce at the Helm, Future is Bright
I’ve always had a soft spot for the Raiders, and in the back of my mind, I think all football fans do.
They are the lovable ruffian team in the league.
Now that Pierce and Telesco are in charge of rerouting this team, I’m all in for betting on Las Vegas to once again become a force to be reckoned with.
With this said though, the competition in the AFC West will be brutal, to say the least. The Los Angeles Chargers also look to become a powerhouse squad once again, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs continue to be the perennial NFL betting odds divisional favorites and the Denver Broncos are as volatile as ever under Sean Payton’s direction.
If the Raiders can find a way to get Crosby help on defense, as well as a QB to lead the offense under Pierce’s leadership, my money is on Las Vegas becoming next season’s Detroit Lions.
Questions Of The Day
Who Should Be The Raiders’ Next Offensive Coordinator?
While looking for a new offensive coordinator to pair up with Antonio Pierce, Pittsburgh’s QB coach Mike Sullivan feels like the perfect candidate to take over the Raiders’ offensive coordinator job.
Is Hiring Tom Telesco As GM A Good Move For Las Vegas?
Considering Telesco knows the AFC West inside and out after his 10-year tenure with the Chargers, it feels as if Las Vegas’ move to hire him as GM is the best acquisition the team could do.