The Las Vegas Raiders have two third-round selections this year, so why not take a potential quarterback of the future if available? We’re referring to Stanford quarterback Davis Mills of course.
The Raiders are in an interesting position once the draft rolls around later this month. They could potentially land three starters with their first three picks. Which order and corresponding positions they chose to address is anyone’s guess. Optimally, Las Vegas picks up a starting right tackle, safety, and an interior defensive lineman with those three selections. However, what’s to become of the 80th selection since the 79th pick was acquired via trade, giving them back-to-back choices? Perhaps you pick up a quarterback and set yourself up for another decade, who would say no to that scenario?
Raiders Prospect: Davis Mills, QB
The six-foot-four, 225-pound signal-caller is an intriguing prospect and for many reasons, chief among them is his experience. He only played in 14 games for Stanford, starting only 11 of those contests. During that stretch, Mills threw for 18 touchdowns with eight interceptions, accumulating a 141.9 passing efficiency rating per College Football Reference. He completed 287 out of 438 passing attempts and averaged 7.9 yards per pass attempt. Pro Football Focus graded Mills 82.9 overall for his final collegiate season, this was based on 229 total passing snaps.
It certainly would be risky when you consider Mills’ sample-sized college display. Nevertheless, Drae Harris of the Draft Network pointed out that the quarterback knows how to win and led his team back from deficits. Additionally, Mills has a good pocket presence and is a decent athlete though he’s certainly not a running quarterback Harris. Something that the Raiders could make use of is Mill’s touch on his deep passes. With Henry Ruggs III in Silver and Black for the foreseeable future, maybe someone could make use of him. Harris sums up that Mills would benefit the most from a quick-timing passing offense with downfield vertical throws.
Can Davis Mills make all the throws?
Even if Mills isn’t the prototypical deep passer, his accuracy in short-yardage situations warrants a look. Remember, the Raiders have Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow, both of whom can make things happen out of passes originally intended for short gains. This isn’t to say that Mills can’t make deep throws either, some refinement could eventually alleviate this.
I'm starting to really like Davis Mills. This throw is beautiful. Anticipation and accuracy on full display pic.twitter.com/jkCZ6LAWW2
— Nick Akridge (@PFF_NickAkridge) April 10, 2021
Davis Mills 🤔🤔pic.twitter.com/9KFAnrskDq
— ً (@DesignsByPeak) April 6, 2021
Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports compared Mills to another former Stanford quarterback, Andrew Luck.
Fundamentally clean passer — mechanics look eerily similar to Andrew Luck at times. Nice, balanced dropbacks. Great posture. Keeps [his] feet and hips squared up. Quick, fluid throwing motion. Very little that needs to be retooled significantly in his setup or delivery.
The issue with taking a quarterback this year will be pretty obvious at first glance. The Raiders still have Marcus Mariota under contract, they also retained preseason MVP quarterback, Nathan Peterman. Then, we have the conundrum that is Derek Carr. At the time of this publishing, Carr’s still the Raiders starting quarterback but his position isn’t exactly cemented. The team has yet to give him a contract extension and he is expected to be an unrestricted free agent in 2023. At the end of the day, we all know Jon Gruden loves his quarterbacks or at least stockpiling them. Picking up Mills could both interesting and shouldn’t surprise anyone if it happened.
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*Top Photo: ERIN CHANG/Stanford Athletics