Rookie quarterbacks usually struggle in their first NFL action. Look no further than C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, and Will Levis, who all threw an interception this weekend. It’s not supposed to be easy, especially for Day 3 rookie QBs.
But Aidan O’Connell might have had the best debut of any rookie quarterback in the class. The fourth-round pick from Purdue drew the start for the Raiders and the moment certainly didn’t look too big for him. O’Connell completed 15 of 18 passes for 141 yards and one touchdown.
One of his incompletions was on a slant to third-round pick Tre Tucker that easily would have picked up a first down if it weren’t dropped. O’Connell was accurate and decisive with the football, but the same can’t be said for the other starter in the game (Trey Lance).
It’s far too early to crown O’Connell as a draft steal or future franchise quarterback, but his debut certainly should turn some heads. But the key to the preseason is consistency. We shall see if O’Connell can do it again when the Raiders take on the Seahawks next week in their second preseason game.