Antonio Pierce calls GM Tom Telesco ‘magician’ in terms of drafting quarterback

Regardless of how you feel about the hiring of Tom Telesco, for the Raiders, the former Chargers is seen as the right guy at the right time.

First and foremost, Mark Davis opted not to go with any first time GM’s because he had already decided to go with first time head coach Antonio Pierce. In this situation, Pierce was to be surrounded by experienced people to allow Pierce to focus on motivating his players.

But there’s also the issue with the Raiders heading into the draft with a need at QB for the first time in a decade. That’s an area where they like Telesco’s experience.

“I got Tom Telesco in there. Got the magician. Figure out what he’s got up his sleeve,” Pierce told NFL media’s Carol Smith. “He’s done it for a long time. I got a lot of trust in him. I think he’s seen it wherever he’s been. Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, becomes a GM with the Chargers, Philip Rivers, Justin Herbert. So he knows something about quarterbacks. So I’m going to let him figure it out.”

Yes, Telesco has “seen” great quarterback play. Though he can’t really be credited much for it.

The Chargers landed franchise QB Justin Herbert with the sixth overall pick after Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa had been selected. Making for one of the more no-brainer picks in the draft as the Chargers were moving on from Philip Rivers and there was a significant dropoff at QB in the draft after that. They were taking whichever of the three QB’s were on the board.

Andrew Luck’s selection carried even less suspense. Telesco had just been promoted to VP of football ops from director of player personnel. The Colts had the number one overall pick and Luck was the obvious choice at first overall.

Peyton Manning was also a number one overall pick and he was selected the same year Telesco joined the team as an area scout. So, needless to say Telesco was not influencing anything with that pick. Philip Rivers was already a veteran on the Chargers when Telesco joined those team.

So, at best Telesco may be a good judge of the kind of intangibles great quarterbacks should possess because he shared a building with several in his career. He’s been lucky enough to have only experienced one full season without one of those four quarterbacks behind center. And that was the notorious “Suck for Luck” season.

Pierce and the Raiders are banking on Telesco’s up-close-and-personal experience with these QB’s translating to the Raiders finding their own answer at quarterback in this year’s draft.

The Raiders currently sit at 13 overall. Most expect the top four quarterbacks — Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, and JJ McCarthy — to be off the board by then, with a dropoff at the position after that.

Next up would be Michael Penix and Bo Nix, but both are considered late first round or early second round prospects.

This means for the first time in his front office career Telesco’s QB magic skills will be truly put to the test.

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire