Raiders Linked to QB Prospects, But Will They Take One in the Draft?

It’s April and that means we’ve finally made it to the draft… almost.

After months of quarterback speculation around the Raiders, is it possible that Jon Gruden will jump on a quarterback in the first round of the draft?

We see that the Raiders have been meeting with some of the top quarterbacks in the draft, but there a few good reasons to think the Raiders won’t be looking for a quarterback in the draft.

Let’s take a look at those reasons…

1 – The Raiders already have Derek Carr (who Gruden is much happier with than some seem to think) and Marcus Mariota didn’t come as a cheap investment. In fact, two of the Raiders top 10 salary cap numbers in 2020 project to be quarterbacks. Adding an early-round quarterback to the investments the Raiders have already made at the position would be a highly unlikely proposition.

By the way, some have surmised that the Raiders aren’t happy with Carr (and see Mariota as the better long-term option), but if that were the case the Raiders would have surely jumped on one of the trade offers they got for Carr. Gruden wanted a better backup and in Mariota he gets a young quarterback capable of keeping up with Carr. Has there ever been such a backup in Oakland/Vegas?

2 – Something to remember is that national insiders get a lot of their information from agents. Agents pass along the information that helps their client in the same way that teams tend to pass along information that helps their team.

If an agent can stir up enough buzz around a player like Oregon QB Justin Herbert going to the Raiders at pick 12, it might motivate a team to trade up and draft Herbert before pick 12. The Raiders benefit in that scenario (assuming they don’t want Herbert) because it pushes a non-quarterback back to them at pick 12. There is a good chance the Raiders are very happy to be connected to Herbert over the next few weeks.

3 – Some seem to think Gruden wants to draft all the quarterbacks, but he has never drafted a quarterback in the first round. Al Davis drafted Marques Tuiasosopo in 2001, but when Gruden had control of the draft room in Tampa his highest quarterback drafted was Chris Simms.

Jerry McDonald on Twitter

Still reading how #Raiders Jon Gruden won’t be able to resist this quarterback or that quarterback. Here’s his draft history: 2001-Marques Tuiasosopo (2-59) 2003-Chris Simms (3-99) 2006-Bruce Gradkowski (6-194) 2008-Josh Johnson (5-160) He resisted Aaron Rodgers in 2005.

4 – Why draft a quarterback with so many pressing needs?

We know Gruden is drafting a wide receiver in the first round and there’s a decent chance he will draft two. That doesn’t leave much wiggle room for an early-round project at quarterback, especially since the Raiders still need a lot of help in the secondary.

5 – With the NFL offseason expected to be very limited (if there are any team activities at all), there won’t be many opportunities for a rookie quarterback to get up to speed this year.

If Gruden wants a young quarterback, it won’t be because he wants to Skype with him all summer… but with COVID-19 in the mix, that might be the only option on the table.

twitter: @raidersbeat