Raiders HC sings praises of rookie TE Brock Bowers

    The Las Vegas Raiders may or may not have used a coin toss to make tight end Brock Bowers the 13th pick of the 2024 NFL Draft on April 25. 

    Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce sang Bowers’ praises during rookie minicamp this past weekend. 

    “I mean, you’re talking about probably the most dynamic player in college football at that tight end position in a long time,” Pierce said about Bowers, as shared by Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk. “It’s rare you get a guy like that [who] can line up as a slot receiver, see him in the backfield, reverses, catch the ball. But I think more importantly, [it’s] his toughness. Watching him block in the SEC, watching him get after guys, I mean that’s what impressed me. Just a gritty player, more importantly, a winner, and he can help us score points.”

    The Raiders were linked with multiple quarterback prospects ahead of the draft but reportedly were unable to move up to pick No. 2 for the rights to take new Washington Commanders signal-caller Jayden Daniels. It was also said in late April that the Raiders “would have considered” drafting Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at pick No. 13 had the Atlanta Falcons not taken him via the eighth choice. 

    New Detroit Lions cornerback Terrion Arnold raised eyebrows when he recently claimed he was told the Raiders “actually had a coin toss” before they drafted Bowers over Arnold. Multiple individuals associated with the Raiders have since poured cold water over that story, but such comments haven’t prevented some analysts from saying the club should’ve spent the Bowers pick on a different position since Las Vegas used a second-round selection to grab tight end Michael Mayer last year. 

    “I think we’re fortunate to have two tight ends on our roster that in the last four years of college football were pretty much the best two, and I think hopefully that creates issues,” Pierce added. “It’s going to create issues for us at practice, we’ll see that. In our division, we’ve got some really good tight ends, so it’ll be good reps for us as well.”

    Pierce is holding a competition between 2023 fourth-round draft pick Aidan O’Connell and journeyman Gardner Minshew for the team’s starting quarterback job that could last through the final game of the preseason. Expect either O’Connell or Minshew to look for Bowers early and often during games beginning in September. 

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