Las Vegas Raiders

Dilemma For Raiders: Win Out Or Draft Position?

Welcome to the Week 16 edition of the Raider Ramble Roundtable, where some of the Ramble’s finest contributors and guests will bring you their thoughts on all the Raiders rumblings, rumors, stats, and even fake news.

This week we have Ray Aspuria, CJ, and Phil Robinson of the “Unphiltered Truth” show.

How do you feel about these last two games as far as draft position? Lose em to get a shot at a potential game changing player or win out as a matter of pride?

Ray Aspuria

I’ve got this very peculiar feeling the Raiders muster up the fortitude to win the last two games of the year, still miss the playoffs and hurt their draft position all in the same process. Wouldn’t that just be the Raider thing to do? Imagine the horror if the Los Angeles Chargers are able to add Isaiah Simmons or Derrick Brown to that defense? Ditto for the Denver Broncos.

Related: College Reunion for Raiders?

Without Trent Brown and with Josh Jacobs ailing, the Raiders are without two integral pieces on offense and that’ll put a damper on an already struggling offense.

Phil Robinson

It is a proven fact finishing seasons at 8-8 leaves teams in a virtual no mans land. All the superstars have been taken, and they’re left looking at guys they aren’t as high on.
I’m of the opinion it would be better for the franchise to lose the remaining games and draft in the Top 10 rather than letting pride knock you down to mid to late picks.
C.J.
There’s nothing to play for the remainder of this season besides roster evaluation. Not sure if you can redeem much ‘pride’ after being blown out three games in a row and then lose the finale in Oakland the way they did. This team needs all hands on deck for this offseason. It starts with knowing what you do and don’t have in terms of depth.

Does Carr need to win these two games to remain starter next year or his job safe?

C.J.

Personally, I believe Carr remains on the team regardless of wins or losses in the next two weeks. There is no doubt in my mind that the Raider front office brings a QB in via free agency/draft. His job is by no means safe with his poor performances and large contract.

Phil Robinson

Not only does Carr need to win these two games, he’s going to have to do the things his coach has asked him to do. He’s also going to need to do it well enough to convince Gruden it’s more than a mirage. Carr has simply stopped throwing the football to his wide receivers in anything but a few basic pass routes. He’s leading receivers into defenders, while ignoring the left side of the field, in the short to intermediate area. Raider Nation is calling for his head and there may be some uncertainty.

Ray Aspuria

Carr’s contract makes his status as Raiders QB pretty solid, in my opinion. Let’s say the Raiders are willing to deal No. 4, are there teams willing to take on his $18.9 base salary in 2020? That’s a pretty penny for an average quarterback, no? But then, that’s the going rate. Smart money is Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock hanging onto Carr and drafting a quarterback or signing one to legitimately compete with Carr. For too long, the Raiders haven’t had a serious contender to challenge their incumbent QB and that needs to change.

Which player are you looking forward to seeing these last two games?

C.J.

I’m hoping DeShone Kizer sees some playing time. He’s been put in terrible situations on other teams and didn’t have any success. It’d be good to know if he’s made any improvements, especially in Gruden’s offense.

Ray Aspuria

I’d like to see Rico Gafford as the primary kick and punt returner. No one else on the team has the 4.22 wheels the undrafted kid out of Wyoming has. Why not exploit his wheels in the return game and at wide receiver on jet sweeps and end arounds? Gruden often says the team lacks speed and Gafford has it in spades. Time to see if he’s worthy of the 53-man roster in Las Vegas by giving him ample opportunities in the final two games.

Phil Robinson

Everybody’s favorite player is the backup QB. Glennon has been demoted to third string, nearly the entire offensive line is being shut down, Jacobs will be out, and Carr will most likely be more concerned with the rush than his progressions. Enter DeShone Kizer, Mayock loved him coming out of Notre Dame and he has more of the new prototypical skills of the modern NFL QB.

Game Predictions?

Ray Aspuria

The tilt in Carson against the Chargers is the Raiders official final “home” game. It’s one last opportunity to make a final impression before the exodus from California. Too bad it won’t be a good one. Bolts QB Philip Rivers is going to toss his patented YOLO bombs and the Raiders secondary won’t have an answer. The pass rush may get to Rivers a few times, but the inability for the secondary to stick will allow the Chargers to give the Raiders one final FU before the team leaves for Nevada. And I get these nightmarish visions of Chargers’ dynamo Austin Ekeler abusing the Raiders linebackers all day Sunday, thus, 24-13 Los Angeles. Oh, and the Raiders continue their horrific no TDs in the second half trend in this one.
C.J.
Chargers win. Most likely won’t be pretty especially with Jacobs and Trent Brown out. I like the way our defense has been playing for the most part. It’s tough to maintain quality defensive play when your offense can’t sustain drives.
Phil Robinson

My prediction is the Raiders lose to the Chargers. The pass rush is going to me too much for the compromised line and I just think something is going on behind the scenes because Carr looks different. He sounds different. He is acting different and with no weapons I don’t expect much 24-13 Chargers.

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