T. J. Houshmandzadeh Told Raiders to Draft Award-Winning QB

T. J. Houshmandzadeh

Getty Former Raiders WR T. J. Houshmandzadeh.

While the Las Vegas Raiders were linked to quarterback Jayden Daniels heading into the draft, he wasn’t a realistic target as he was the No. 2 overall pick. This led to Washington’s Michael Penix gaining steam as the team’s potential next starting quarterback.

However, the Atlanta Falcons pulled off a major surprise and took the 2023 Maxwell Award-winning quarterback with the No. 8 pick. There have been conflicting reports about whether or not the Raiders were going to select Penix at No. 13 if he fell to them but they may have at least considered it.

Former Raiders wide receiver T. J. Houshmandzadeh has a close relationship with head coach Antonio Pierce and he revealed that he was pounding the table for Las Vegas to take Penix if he fell to them.

“I thought Penix was gonna be a Raider,” Houshmandzadeh said on the May 2 episode of “The Herd.” “I really did. I told ’em, I said, ‘y’all better not pass on Penix.’ … ‘Y’all better not pass on him, I’m telling you now.’”

The Raiders never even got a chance to add Penix so it remains to be seen if the plan was to draft him. Houshmandzadeh likely has Pierce’s ear so it’s something the coach might have been interested in but general manager Tom Telesco seemed more concerned with taking the best player available, which is why he took tight end Brock Bowers.

Will Las Vegas Raiders Regret Not Taking QB?

The Raiders picked a very bad year to need a quarterback. There weren’t many options in free agency and six quarterbacks were selected before they picked at No. 13. While it’s not great news that the Raiders weren’t able to add a top prospect, it’s easy to understand why they avoided the position completely the rest of the draft.

There weren’t any prospects who would’ve been an upgrade over Gardner Minshew and Aidan O’Connell. Now, the Raiders could’ve possibly done more to try and trade up but none of the top three teams were willing to trade down in the end.

There’s not much the Raiders could’ve done to get a quarterback in this year’s draft. Too many teams had a need at the position and Las Vegas picked too low. There will be fewer teams that need a quarterback next draft so perhaps they’ll be able to find one next year.

Can Las Vegas Raiders Make Playoffs With Current QBs?

The Raiders went 8-9 last season with a coaching change in the middle of the year and three different starting quarterbacks. Minshew and O’Connell in his second year will be better than what the team had last offseason.

That’s not to mention major additions to the roster like defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and Bowers. It’s hard to see the Raiders competing for a Super Bowl without an elite quarterback but they should be in the mix for the playoffs if Pierce is the right head coach.

The roster does have talent at a lot of key positions. If Minshew can just be a bit of an upgrade over what the team had last season, this team is capable of winning 10 games. It’ll just be difficult to win more than that until they upgrade at quarterback.

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