McDaniels talks Offseason, Draft, Garoppolo at League Meeting

Source: Matt York/Associated Press

Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels spoke with the media at the NFL’s Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona on Monday to discuss the Raiders’ offseason, which has so far included signing QB Jimmy Garoppolo, WR Jakobi Meyers, safety Marcus Epps and more, as well as trading away star TE Darren Waller to the New York Giants. McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler seem to be looking to strike the balance between filling holes on the roster and positioning the team for long term success, not the least of which was the big move of bringing in Garoppolo to hold down the vacant starting quarterback position.

“We kind of took it from the ground up approach (with Garoppolo in New England), and those four years were really good,” McDaniels said, who worked with Garoppolo during his time with the Patriots. “Really, you got to know the kid, how he learns best, and he really came a long way, and then obviously what he’s done since he’s gone to Kyle (Shanahan) and John (Lynch) in San Francisco, played in a lot of big games, really performed well under pressure in a lot of those. He’s been in a really good winning culture.”

“I’m excited actually to learn from him… Looking forward to eventually getting a chance to sit down when we can actually sit down and talk about football, and hear from his perspective, where he’s at in his growth and development, and then trying to piece this thing together as we go forward. Very excited about going forward with him.”

Garoppolo’s presence on the roster drastically changes the Raiders’ outlook on the quarterback position for the foreseeable future, but with the Raiders sitting in the top-10 of the 2023 NFL Draft order, the team could still pull the trigger on making a big move to shake up the draft landscape. McDaniels also commented on the Raiders’ draft approach at the league meeting.

“It makes you feel better if you come out of (the draft) without somebody specific, but I think in terms of our roster, what we’ve tried to do is put ourselves in a position so we can actually draft the best player that we feel like is available at the time, and we’re open to anything. That’s nothing new, but if that happens to be a quarterback, then it’s a quarterback. If it happens to be a defensive lineman, it’s a defensive lineman… We know we pick high in every round basically. It’s an opportunity that you hope you don’t have a whole lot of, but we’re going to try to take full advantage of if we can this year.”

If the Raiders do opt to select a quarterback at the No. 7 overall pick, or higher in the draft via trade, Garoppolo’s role as the Raiders starter could be short lived. However, he has proven to be a capable starter in the NFL and signed a fairly sizeable contract with the Raiders, one which includes an $18+ million cap penalty if the Raiders release him in 2024.

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