It's no secret that the Raiders have a question mark at quarterback going into this off-season. Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen have all but confirmed the Terrelle Pryor era is over in Oakland, and while DA has suggested Matt McGloin has a future with the team it most likely isn't as a starter in his second season.
With that said and done, what are the Raiders going to do at quarterback this year?
The majority of the fans have already made it clear they don't want QB to be a priority in this draft. A glance at our comment threads says it all - we want linemen (particularly defensive linemen) and rebuilt trenches with a veteran signing.
This is nice, but I can safely say it's not going to happen. The Oakland Raiders will draft a quarterback this year - most likely with the #5 pick, but almost definitely in the first two rounds.
Why? It's simple. The current regime is running on their shortest leash yet. Mark Davis has all but said DA has one year to turn this thing around or kiss his job goodbye. While he probably has more faith in RMac, he's but the next target should the turnaround not go as quick as planned.
Generally the fastest way to turn things around quickly is to draft a stud quarterback. Obviously the Colts and Andrew Luck are the best example of this, but they're far from the only ones. St Louis went from 1-15 to 7-9 the year they drafted Sam Bradford (who is a lesser talent than Luck), the Falcons went from 3-13 to 9-7 in Matt Ryan's first year and didn't have a losing season until this one to name two examples.
If you draft a good lineman - even a great one - you shore up one area of your team. If you hit on a franchise QB in the draft, you're a playoff contender for the next 10 years. There's no other position which can impact an entire team and turn things around as much.
There's a tendency amongst Raider fans to discount the value of a quarterback - probably because our last two great QBs (Gannon, Plunkett) were acquired pretty much off the scrap heap and our draft picks at the position have been more miss than hit. Reggie McKenzie, however, is smarter than us. He knows the value of a QB and how much this team needs a star one to turn things around.
Moreover, he and DA surely want to find "their guy" in the draft. Unless you count Matt Flynn - who was always just a stopgap - this regime has not really had a chance to go out and find their next franchise QB. Palmer and Pryor were holdovers, Wilson was drafted for potential and didn't work out and even McGloin was hardly taken with the future of the franchise in mind. Reggie and DA surely want to get their guy in and have him turn the franchise around.
Who that guy is going to be, I'm not 100% sure yet and once I figure it out I'll let you know.