Potential starter, quality backup, trade asset. It’s those three reasons why Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock should take a quarterback in the in the upcoming draft and everyone one after that.
That doesn’t mean the Raiders decision maker — singular because we know Chucky is the final say — should drop prime draft capital on a quarterback. Not with Derek Carr and his $125 million contract holding down the fort at the position.
Teams have shown a propensity to nab quality signal callers on Day 2 (3rd and 4th rounds). Some even have the ability to unearth and develop the talent found on Day 3 (5th-7th rounds). While the quarterback pool this coming April isn’t as strong as prior editions, there’s talent to be had.
If the Raiders brain trust is keen on improving around Carr, what’s a better way to motivate — and at the same time, ensuring quality control — the franchise QB than having someone behind him who is a legitimate option and can truly push him?
Here’s an at-a-glance look at signal callers who will draw the eyes of Gruden:
Will Grier, West Virginia University: Accuracy is seemingly his calling card after completing 67 percent of his throws for 37 touchdowns and eight interceptions (3,864 yards) this past season. Gruden’s West Coast variant relies on quick accurate throws, but where Grier is lacking is arm strength.
Ryan Finley, North Carolina State: A true-to-form game manager who is accurate to boot, he hit for 67 percent of his throws with 25 scores and 11 picks (3,928 yards) this past year. He too lacks in arm power, but he takes care of the football and has a high football IQ.
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn: A year after completing 67 percent of his throws, he had a down 2018 striking on 61 percent of his throws for 18 TDs and 5 INTs. Another high IQ, decent arm type.
Easton Stick, North Dakota State: Decent arm coupled with a nice set of wheels is the name of his game. He connected on 61 percent of his throws with 26 TDs and 5 INTs. He also added 11 rushing scores this past year.
Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt: Pat’s kiddo gets the most out of what he’s got with accuracy and field vision. He improved on delivering the ball during his time in college with a 63-percent clip to go along with 24 TDs and 6 INTs.
Brett Rypien, Boise State: Accurate game manager is a common theme in the 2019 crop of QBs. He connected on 67 percent of his passes to go along with 30 scores and 7 picks (3,705 yards).
Jake Browning, Washington: Once a shining prospect after a 43-touchdown sophomore campaign, he was benched this past year after firing a 65-percent completion clip with 16 TDs and 10 picks (3,192 yards).
Kyler Murray, Oklahoma: The definition of dual-threat QB, this kid is likely to be long gone by the time the Raiders pick again. He threw for 42 TDs and 7 INTs and completed 69 percent of his throws. He also ran for 1,001 yards and 12 more scores. Armed with the No. 4, 24 and 27 picks in the first round, the Raiders are one of the teams who can gamble in the first round.