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Raiders trade up to take Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell

Did Las Vegas get its quarterback of the future?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 03 Big 10 Championship - Michigan vs Purdue
Aidan O’Connell
Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After studying quarterbacks for the entire draft process, the Las Vegas Raiders targeted a developmental type as they traded up to select Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell.

Las Vegas sent the No. 144 and No. 214 picks to the New England Patriots for the No. 135 pick, the final choice in the fourth round. NFL Media reported that the Raiders spent a good portion of the fourth round trying to trade up with O’Connell as their target.

NFL Media reported that the Raiders really liked O’Connell, whose release has been compared to Tom Brady’s. He, of course, was with Las Vegas coach Josh McDaniels in New England.

O’Connell is also known for his intelligence. Yet, he also is not mobile and has turned the ball over a lot. He currently projects as a backup, but clearly McDaniels thinks he is worth developing.

He performed well at the Shrine Game in Las Vegas. He is a true pocket passer.

O’Connell, who was a walk-on at Purdue and he did not play his first two seasons. He made 22 of his 28 starts in the past two seasons, O’Connell threw for 3,712 yards in 2021 and and 3,490 yards in 2022. He threw for 50 of his 65 career touchdown passes the past two seasons. O’Connell had some interception issues, throwing 13 in 2020 and 30 in his college career.

Because he was part of the Purdue program so long, O’Connell is entering the NFL late. He will be 25 in September.