Can anyone stop Aidan O’Connell? Okay, it’s just the preseason, but O’Connell has been one of the most impressive young quarterbacks in the league through the first two exhibition games.
But despite the two standout preseason performances by O’Connell, has he managed to close the gap between him and Brian Hoyer for the No. 2 QB job?
In a recent article by Vic Tafur of The Athletic, he wrote about the backup quarterback situation in Las Vegas and the competition that is now brewing in the preseason. Here is a snippet of what he had to say about the battle going on in camp:
Rookie fourth-round pick Aidan O’Connell completed 10 of his first 15 passes and threw two touchdown passes, and is definitely breathing down Brian Hoyer’s neck now.
Hoyer, 37, struggled and threw a pick six when he underthrew Mayer by 5 yards. He finished 12-of-22 for 144 yards, playing the remainder of the first half after Garoppolo exited following the first possession. Hoyer would have had a touchdown pass in the final minute of the half but the pass bounced off rookie Tre Tucker’s chest.
It’s clear that the Raiders want to bring O’Connell along slowly and not force him into any action as a rookie, but they might not have a choice. O’Connell has looked fantastic in the preseason and it’s clear that he is the better quarterback of the two right now.
But don’t be surprised if the Raiders wind up sticking with Hoyer as the No. 2 quarterback and keep O’Connell as the No. 3. Hoyer knows the offense well and can play in a pinch if needed. But the fact that this is already a conversation shows just how much potential and excitement there is around O’Connell heading into his rookie year.