This may not be a big news flash that the Raiders need to consider drafting a quarterback this year. The question becomes just how much of a priority will it be? Dennis Allen spoke at the combine Thursday where he was asked the quarterback question from every angle.
First off, the quarterback situation for the Raiders weighs heavily on how much emphasis they put on the position. Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin shared the season at the position with Pryor starting eight of the first nine games, McGloin taking over for him for six games, and then Pryor starting the season finale. Neither established themselves at the position and left much room for improvement.
The last time Dennis Allen spoke was in his postseason press conference. He was asked at that time if the future quarterback of this team was on the roster. He was asked the same question Thursday and his answer was much the same.
"I don't know the answer to that yet, you know what I mean? I think that's obviously a position we're going to look at to try to improve as well as any other position."
He isn't about to tip his hand as to where he or Reggie McKenzie's priorities are but he did have a few things to say.
"I think that's one of the things we've got to ultimately determine," Allen continued. "That's a position that we're going to look at very closely. In my mind, we've got two young quarterbacks that have potential. Hopefully they can develop and reach that next step, but I think that's obviously a position that we've got to look at."
He was asked about Johnny Manziel specifically, and he had this to say about Manziel:
"Obviously he's accomplished a lot at the collegiate level and has been a very good football player being the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. I think that speaks in and of itself about how good a football player he is, so I think he's a very talented football player. I think he is a multi-dimensional football player. I think he's able to throw the ball. I think he's able to throw the ball from the pocket, but he's also able to create things with his feet. As we get more into the evaluation process, I think he'll be a fun guy to really evaluate."
Manziel is an intriguing prospect for what he accomplished on the field. He is an intriguing story for his antics off of it. He is known to be quite into the party scene and his character, intelligence, and leadership abilities are his primary concern. For that reason, the interviews will be vitally important.
"We put a lot into that. There's a lot of things you can see by watching tape in evaluating the tape, but I think the most important thing when you're evaluating players for your football team, a lot of times it's the intangible things you just don't see them on tape. So the psychological testing, the intelligence testing, the interview process, finding out about what makes a player tick, those are all the things that I think...I think when you make mistakes in acquiring talent, you generally make them based on what a player either does or doesn't have in his heart or in his head, not necessarily what his physical abilities are."
The Raiders will be looking at quarterback in the draft, make no mistake. Whether the Raiders are sold on Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, or Blake Bortles will decide if they pull the trigger with the number five pick or choose to wait until later in the draft.