We all know that Jimmy Garoppolo will be the starting quarterback of the Las Vegas Raiders in 2023.
Yet, the current question is who will be Jimmy G.’s backup even after the team signed Brian Hoyer.
Las Vegas, of course, is making changes at both the starting and No. 2 quarterback in the second year of Josh McDaniels’ tenure as the team’s head coach. Garoppolo is replacing the released Derek Carr (now the starter of the New Orleans Saints). Carr’s backup last season, Jarrett Stidham, agreed to terms with the Denver Broncos to be their backup in the opening minutes of the legal tampering period of free agency last month.
Thus, it’s a real possibility Las Vegas will address their backup quarterback in the draft. It could be a player they take in the early rounds who think can become Garoppolo’s replacement in a season or two. Or they can take a quarterback in the mid-to-late rounds who they project as a backup.
Las Vegas is holding 12 draft picks (the league high) signs may be pointing that is the way the team is leaning toward with their backup quarterback.
McDaniels does have a history of using rookies as a quarterback. Garoppolo was New England’s backup in 2014 after being a second-round pick and Stidham (Yes, McDaniels likes sticking with his QBs), was the Patriots’ backup in 2019 after being taken in the fourth round.
McDaniels indicated recently at the NFL owners meetings that he is comfortable using a veteran or rookie as his backup quarterback.
“We had a couple (rookies) there. But it’s not one thing, depending on how you go about finding that spot and who the kid is. It could be a rookie; it could be a veteran,” McDaniels said. “I think the goal though is to try to eventually draft a player at that position that you continue to move forward with and develop. We’ve done that. I’ve done that, I’ve been a part of that. I enjoy doing that. I think it’s a really good philosophy to have organizationally so you’re not chasing a brand-new backup quarterback every year and trying to identify who the best fit is. So, see if we can figure that out in the next month here.”
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