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Which draft prospects, QBs fit Raiders’ new offensive coordinator?

MOBILE, Ala. — A seismic shift was felt from Henderson to the Senior Bowl when the Raiders selected Kliff Kingsbury as their new offensive coordinator Thursday.

The team identified the former Cardinals coach and his Air Raid offense as a fit. That means the Raiders now know what kind of personnel they’re looking for to fit the system.

That includes quarterback. Aidan O’Connell is prepared to fight for his starting role with whoever the team decides to bring in. Who that ends up being is the Raiders’ No. 1 question this offseason, though they also have three pending free agents on the offensive line.

Defensive line coach Rob Leonard joked “you can never have enough pass rushers” at the Senior Bowl this week, but it’s the offense the team has to turn around to make the playoffs.

Here’s a look at some possible fits for the Raiders at this year’s event with Kingsbury in place:

Offensive linemen

Kingsbury’s offense spreads out defenders to give receivers the opportunity to make plays one-on-one.

He also places a premium on running the ball between the tackles. That means the Raiders should target large linemen who can move.

Two tackles who fit that bill are Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton and Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga. Guyton is highly athletic at 6-foot-7, 328 pounds. Fuaga is a 6-foot-5, 332-pound behemoth who can play guard and tackle. Both are expected to be first-round picks.

Other prospects who stood out this week were Kansas guard/tackle Dominick Puni and Texas tackle Christian Jones.

Running backs

Running backs are more important than some might assume in Kingsbury’s offense.

He’ll sometimes line them up out wide, so it’s important they can catch the ball. They also need to be able to block since he’ll spread things out with multiple wide receivers and tight ends.

Zamir White should have a role next season if he works on his pass catching and blocking. Josh Jacobs’ future is more dubious as a pending free agent.

The Raiders should look to give White a backfield partner no matter what.

Southern California’s MarShawn Lloyd jumped out as a potential target at the Senior Bowl with his ability to run, block and catch. He’s familiar with Kingsbury as well, because the coach was a senior offensive analyst with the Trojans last season.

Lloyd averaged 7.1 yards per carry last year and also had 232 receiving yards.


The Raiders can go several directions at quarterback.

They could go all-in to try to land USC’s Caleb Williams, who Kingsbury coached last season. Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels from Louisiana State would also fit the offense. So would national championship winner J.J. McCarthy from Michigan.

The Raiders will inquire about moving up from the 13th pick of the draft to land Williams or Daniels. They could also trade for quarterback Justin Fields if the Bears decide to hold onto the top pick.

Fields improved as a passer last season and could benefit even more from Kingsbury’s offense. He’s a perfect fit as a runner as well because the spread-out scheme should give him room to scramble.

At the Senior Bowl, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. was the quarterback star. He’s not a top-notch athlete after suffering two ACL injuries, but his strong arm talent could work in Kingsbury’s passing game.

Oregon’s Bo Nix could be a candidate on the second day of the draft. He doesn’t have Penix’s huge arm, but he’s accurate and an above-average athlete. Nix improved as the week went on at the Senior Bowl.

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

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