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Raiders mailbag: Did team think it could land a QB in draft?

Updated May 31, 2024 - 1:00 pm

The Raiders still have some lingering questions as the final phase of their offseason program continues.

They need to know who will claim their open starting cornerback job, who their starting quarterback will be and how many of their pending free agents will re-sign this summer.

Fans have similar questions. Here is a sampling of what arrived in this week’s mailbag:

MrBlockbuster99 (@MrBlockbuster99): How sure was management that they could draft a quarterback in the first round? Was Gardner Minshew a backup plan in case they didn’t or perhaps a mentor if they did? Maybe both?

Bonsignore: The Raiders knew they were in a tough spot at the 13th overall pick.

They wanted to move up in the draft to select one of the top prospects, but the teams picking one, two and three needed quarterbacks as well. The Bears, Commanders and Patriots all stayed put and took Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye, respectively.

That left the Raiders to sift through the second tier of quarterback prospects. The sense is the team viewed that next group as “reaches” at No. 13. That means they didn’t want to trade up for one of them, either.

No one knows what would have happened if Michael Penix Jr. was still on the board at No. 13 instead of being picked at No. 8 by the Falcons. But it doesn’t feel like the Raiders entertained moving up for him.

As for Minshew, his addition on a two-year contract speaks volumes about the team’s uneasiness when it came to landing one of the top quarterback prospects. He was insurance in case the Raiders didn’t add a passer in the draft.

Minshew now goes into training camp competing with second-year pro Aidan O’Connell for the starting job. It was a scenario the Raiders knew might happen in March when they signed Minshew.

Matt Berger (@matt_berger): It’s said that almost half the league is comprised of undrafted free agents. Which ones that the Raiders have signed do you see making the 53-man roster or practice squad?

Bonsignore: That’s a tough call to make so early in the process.

That said, the Raiders signed 17 undrafted free agents this year because they have several backup and special-teams roles available. There’s room for a cornerback, defensive lineman or wide receiver in particular to make the team.

Kenny Nauta (@kennynautajr): Do you think Luke Getsy’s offense can surprise everyone like former coordinator Bill Musgrave’s offense? I remember when Jack Del Rio hired him, I was like, “Why this guy?”

Bonsignore: It’ll come down to the quarterback and the offensive line.

The Raiders’ offense will have a real chance to be good if those two position groups deliver. It won’t matter how creative Getsy gets or what plays he calls if both struggle.

Kevin Greene (@OrangeGaucho): What is Jackson Powers-Johnson’s injury?

Bonsignore: The Raiders’ second-round pick out of Oregon was not on the field during Wednesday’s workout. But teams don’t have to disclose injuries this time of year, so no details are available.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on X.

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