Raiders head to scouting combine with all eyes on QBs

Vincent Bonsignore, Las Vegas Review-Journal on

Published in Football

INDIANAPOLIS — The Raiders make their annual pilgrimage to the heartland this week to get a better handle on the 2024 draft class.

The scouting combine represents one piece of the draft puzzle, albeit a sizable one, given the access clubs get to prospects through interviews and their medical records.

For first-year Raiders general manager Tom Telesco and coach Antonio Pierce, the trip to Indianapolis represents their first major venture together since partnering up in late January. Accompanying them will be staffers from the personnel department and coaching staff, a handful of them carryovers from the previous regime and others newly hired.

Their ability to mesh and work together will go a long way toward determining how well the Raiders pull off a critical offseason. That includes their first draft, in which they hold nine picks over seven rounds and likely their first crack at securing the franchise quarterback who has eluded the Raiders for decades.

The 2024 quarterback class, considered one of the deepest in years, draws comparisons to the 2020 group that produced Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa and Jordan Love. If this year’s class can have a similar impact — two Super Bowl appearances and multiple playoff trips — it behooves the Raiders to get involved.

Holding the 13th pick overall, the Raiders are unlikely to have access to the consensus top four — Southern California’s Caleb Williams, North Carolina’s Drake Maye, Louisiana State’s Jayden Daniels and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy — and that spot might be too high to take Washington’s Michael Penix or Oregon’s Bo Nix.


Hence, the importance of the next seven days.

The Raiders will be hyperfocused on the quarterbacks at the combine. Eventually, they will marry their intel from the combine with their film work, upcoming pro day workouts and private visits to make one of the more significant decisions in years.

Questions abound.

Are Williams, Maye, Daniels or McCarthy capable of being the difference-making quarterback the Raiders need? How high do they have to move up in the draft to secure one of them? Are they willing to pay the price to do so?


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