Raiders can afford to relax in quarterback-rich draft

OAKLAND, Calif. — The final five seasons of quarterback play in Tampa under Jon Gruden were forgettable.

Four different players led the Buccaneers in single-season passing from 2004 to 2008. None of those four — Brian Griese, Chris Simms, Bruce Gradkowski and Jeff Garcia — reached 2,800 yards in a respective year. All in all, the Bucs’ passing game was certifiably middle of the road.

And so, this draft represents a change of pace for Gruden.

He largely can forget the position.

Derek Carr was a core piece to what lured Gruden from broadcasting back onto an NFL sideline. With Carr under center, the club has no inclination to address quarterback on April 26. Still, the position should impact the club’s No. 10 overall pick, as other teams jostle to select a franchise-caliber prospect early in the draft.

Four quarterbacks very well could be taken within the top 10 picks.

At worst, this activity will bump a relevant crop of defenders down the board toward the Raiders. At best, the quarterback crop could create options, perhaps tempting Reggie McKenzie to trade back in the first round for the second time in his GM tenure. In 2013, he moved from No. 3 to 12 overall when selecting cornerback D.J. Hayden.

Carr signed a five-year, $125 million extension last June. He is under contract through 2022.

Behind him, the Raiders conceivably could add a developmental project during the draft’s third day on April 28. There is no shortage of backup arms on the roster now between EJ Manuel, Connor Cook and Josh Johnson.

Manuel, 28, projects as the primary reserve for a second straight season. He signed a one-year deal in March. Johnson, 31, signed a similar deal in March, although unlike Manuel, he has no history with the club. Johnson, a 2008 fifth-round pick, is the last quarterback a Gruden-led organization has drafted.

Cook likely is ahead of Johnson for the No. 3 quarterback spot. The 2016 fourth-round pick has two more seasons under his rookie contract.

He did not appear in a game last year.

Top QBs in 2018 draft

■ Sam Darnold, Southern California. 6 feet, 3 inches; 221 pounds. Poise and physical tools of franchise leader. Ball security a concern (13 interceptions, nine fumbles lost in 2017).

■ Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma: 6 feet, 2 inches; 215 pounds. Completed 70.5 percent with 43 touchdowns, six interceptions in 2017 Heisman Trophy Award year. Lacks prototypical size.

■ Josh Allen, Wyoming: 6 feet, 5 inches; 237 pounds. Elite-echelon arm strength. Accuracy the looming question after 56.2 percent career completion rate as two-year starter.

■ Josh Rosen, UCLA: 6 feet, 4 inches; 226 pounds. Suffered two concussions in 2017. Has faced some (unfair?) criticism for being perhaps too strong-minded.

■ Lamar Jackson, Louisville: 6 feet, 2 inches; 216 pounds. Opted out of 40-yard dash at combine and pro day. But averaged 1,586 yards, 19.5 touchdowns rushing in final two seasons.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation Mailbag: How Will Raiders Perform Against Ravens
Raiders will face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and Review-Journal reporter Gilbert Manzano and Elaine Emerson go over what to expect from the game.
Vegas Nation: LaFell moved to IR, Hatcher returns
The Raiders move wide receiver Brandon LaFell to the injured reserve and re-sign preseason standout Keon Hatcher, as Michael Gehlken reports the corresponding moves from Alameda, Calif.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Beat Cardinals 23-21, Earn Second Win of Season
Raiders Kicker Daniel Carlson hit the game winning field goal as time expires to hand the Raiders their first road win of the Season.
Raiders players talk about the team's win over Cardinals
After the team defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 23-21, the Oakland Raiders players spoke about the victory in the locker room.
Gruden, Carr discuss the Raiders 23-21 win
Head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr speak to media after the Oakland Raiders defeat the Arizona Cardinals, 23-21.
Vegas Nation: Nelson, Bryant out vs. Arizona
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports that the team will be without wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant ahead of their game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hold indoor walkthrough due to fires
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from smoky Alameda, Calif. as the Raiders move their practice indoors due to the California wildfires.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium (Raiders)
Vegas Nation: Ateman prepares for NFL debut vs. Cards
Oakland Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken explains how Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant's injuries could result in seventh round pick Marcell Ateman making his NFL debut this Sunday.
Vegas Nation: Nelson, Bryant injured in loss to Chargers
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken examines the injuries to wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant.
Vegas Nation: Chargers Overpower Raiders 20-6
Ed Graney and Michael Gehlken discuss The Raiders loss to the Chargers following the California wildfires and mass shooting
Vegas Nation Mailbag: November 7, 2018
Elaine Emerson and Gilbert Manzano answer questions from fans on the Raiders before they take on the Los Angeles Chargers.
Vegas Nation: Gruden downplays sideline encounter with Guenther
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from Alameda as Jon Gruden addresses the media for the first time a day after their Thursday Night Football loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Dismantled by 49ers 34-3
The Raiders fall to the 49ers following Nick Mullens' impressive debut for San Francisco.
Vegas Nation: Raiders defense looks to improve against 49ers
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken discusses the Raiders defensive woes thus far prior to their Battle of the Bay game against the 49ers.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Oct. 30, 2018
Elaine Emerson and Gilbert Manzano answer questions from Raider Nation regarding Derek Carr's performance and Jon Gruden.
Vegas Nation: Raiders seek consistent defensive rotation
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken points out a change in the team's defensive rotation from previous games.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Give up 21 Unanswered Points in Loss to Colts
The Oakland Raiders lose to the Colts after being outscored 21-0 in the fourth quarter. Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Oakland.
Vegas Nation: Osemele returns to practice ahead of Colts matchup
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken anticipates that All Pro guard Kelechi Osemele may return against the Indinapolis Colts on Sunday.
Vegas Nation: Doug Martin prepares for heavier workload vs. Colts
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken discusses Doug Martin's increased role as a featured back, as well as what the offensive line's health could potentially mean for Martin's performance.
Vegas Nation: Gruden, Smith come to Carr's defense
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from Alameda, Calif. as members of the team deny reports of a fractured locker room.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Raiders' Bye Week
Elaine Wilson and Gilbert Manzano go over comments from Raider Nation.
Vegas Nation: Draft Picks to Rebuild
Ed Graney discusses the Amari Cooper trade to the Dallas Cowboys and the future first round picks the Raiders will have.
Las Vegas Stadium Livecam
Raiders Adopt Student Resource Room At Robert Taylor Elementary School In Henderson
Former Raiders player Leo Gray and Robert Taylor Elementary School principal Kim Basham talk about the new resource room at the school on Sept. 25, 2018 in Henderson, Nevada. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
More information on design of Raiders' practice facility in Henderson
Officials plan to finish the Raiders' Henderson headquarters by spring 2020. The planned facility would be home to offices, training facilities and 4 1/2 football fields.
Vegas Nation: Raiders fall short in Week 1 to the Rams
Bryan Salmond and Gilbert Manzano are in studio recapping the first game of 2018 for the Oakland Raiders. Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Oakland.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like