Raiders Shock Experts, Bowers By Taking TE In First Round

Raiders Shock Experts, Bowers By Taking TE In First Round


With rumors swirling about for months that the Raiders would trade up for the quarterback of head coach Antonio Pierce’s dreams in Jayden Daniels, this draft pick comes as a shock.

Even to the first-round pick himself.

“I was really shocked,” said Brock Bowers, three-time All American out of Georgia. “I wasn’t totally sure what was happening.”

Daniels, who attended the final game of the season for the Raiders in Las Vegas, played with Pierce as a coach at Arizona State.

For months, there seemed to be real buzz that the Raiders would perform a Trey Lance type of trade from 3 years ago, to get their franchise quarterback.

Instead, they drafted at a position where they already have a talented young player that they picked high in the draft last year in Michael Mayer. 

In selecting Brock Bowers, the Raiders are drafting one of the best players available, but not at a position of need. 

Two tight end sets aren’t exactly the cutting edge of NFL offenses in 2024, but Bowers believe he can have success in such formations.

“Two big body mismatches,” said Bowers. “It’s hard for defenses to combat that.”

Bowers, who made the All-American Team in his three seasons at Georgia, also won two national championships for the Bulldogs. 

If he develops into a truly elite tight end, then GM Tom Telesco will end up looking smart. 

If not, it’s not a good start to Telesco’s tenure, who’s last gig with the Chargers got thrusted into its demise after losing to Pierce and the Raiders 63-21 last season.

Telesco had a chance to select the first defensive player off the board at no.13—something that would’ve enriched their defensive-minded head coach by adding a defensive difference maker to what was a top-10 unit once Pierce took over last season.

Essentially, Bowers needs to eventually play at an All-Pro level to justify this pick. 

Growing up in Napa, California, Bowers has memories of watching the Raiders in mini-camp back in their Bay Area days.

“They used to have training camp in Napa, literally at my middle school,” said Bowers. “I remember getting an autograph from Derek Carr and that was pretty sweet.”

The Raiders are hoping for their best tight end since Dave Casper, a foundational player of their Bay Area glory days.

Travis Kelce plays in the same division, hopefully for the Raiders and Telesco’s sake, Bowers is a comparable talent. 

Who are the real winners of this pick? Well, the Raiders are if Bowers is great, but immediately—it’s Aidan O’Connell and Gardner Minshew.

Both QBs now know they don’t have a first-round stud looking over their shoulders. 

The starting job is truly open to both quarterbacks now. 

Whomever wins the job will have two big, athletic tight ends to throw it to.