Even as the Raiders prepare to move from Oakland to Las Vegas, all anyone in Raider Nation can talk about is Derek Carr, who is one loss short of his brother’s all-time record for most losses by a quarterback through his first six seasons, and the fans are tired of waiting for “next year.” After Broncos rookie Drew Lock galvanized his team late last year, we’re stuck with our 20/20 vision, wondering if maybe the Raiders should’ve pulled the trigger on drafting the Mizzou passer.
The Raiders had a shot at drafting Drew Lock
There was something incredibly frustrating about watching Lock rap along to Jeezy’s “Put On” with a touchdown lead on the last Sunday of the season for the Silver and Black. Not only did Denver have the lead, later going on to win the game, ending the Oakland Raiders once and for all, but he did it with a swagger that many feel the Raiders starting quarterback has been missing.
There’s no question that Carr is a great guy. He’d give a stranger the shirt of his back, and there’s nothing phony about his faith. But in a game that is ultimately a physical competition, many wish the starting quarterback had a little more of a mean streak. They would like to see him carrying himself with a little more fire, and it’s easy to be a little green with envy watching a young quarterback immediately galvanize the Broncos the way Carr hasn’t, with the same swagger that Carr lacks.
2019 Didn’t Have 2020 Vision
In 2020, only Carr’s most vocal supporters remain. His inability to come up big in cold weather, missed opportunities, throwing the ball away on fourth down, and fumbling out of the endzone again have soured many on the former Fresno State Bulldog. 2020 will be his seventh season as the starting quarterback of the Raiders, and the team has very little to show for it.
In 2019, things were different. Just look at this poll I did around this time last year.
I wanna prove a point here. #RaiderNation, what’s your stance on Derek Carr?
Please vote and retweet, I’m trying to get as many takes as possible.
— smith (@RyFitHere) January 10, 2019
Coming into 2019, many of us, myself included, were still very adamant Carr supporters. Last year, he had a really bad offensive line, no run game to speak of, and a skeleton crew at wide receiver. He was constantly smacked around, and we knew if he could just get some weapons and protection, he could return to 2016 form. At the time of the draft, we assumed Antonio Brown would be there. We assumed the Raiders would have a fierce receiving corps featuring A.B. and Tyrell Williams. Many were saying “now he has no excuses, let’s see what he can do.”
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NFL media begged the Raiders to take a quarterback. Everyone swore up and down that Gruden was in love with a half dozen prospects, including Lock, but quarterback was never on the radar for them. They did their due diligence on all the quarterbacks, but they were committed to Carr in 2019.
Just for fun, here’s that same poll from this year.
I'm very curious.
A few people in #RaiderNation have been very vocal about Derek Carr, but I'd be curious to see how the quiet ones feel too.
So if you wouldn't mind, please vote and retweet.
— smith (@RyFitHere) January 1, 2020
Fixing the Defense
Here’s a tune Raider Nation has heard once or twice, the team’s biggest priority entering the draft was defense. Six of Oakland’s draft picks were on defense, and hypothetically, drafting Drew Lock means the Raiders miss out on Trayvon Mullen, a solid young corner who had flashes of brilliance in 2019. Taking a quarterback that wouldn’t even play right away over a player who might end up being a cornerstone of the defense moving forward would be foolish.
Is Drew Locked In?
Sure, the visual of Lock rapping on the sideline made the Raiders feel envious, but are we sure this guy is even good? That very same game, he didn’t even break 200 yards passing. He only had more than 200 yards in two of his games, and in one of those bouts, he completed only 45% of his passes for zero touchdowns and a pick. Lock hasn’t done anything to prove he’s a viable long-term starter, or even better than what the Raiders already have.
I’m all in on moving on from Derek Carr, but I’m glad they didn’t take Lock last year. I still think the best plan of action is to draft a young quarterback this season, bring Carr back, and see if that doesn’t light a fire under number four. Hindsight, like the calendar, is 2020, and I think the Raiders made the right call by passing on Lock.