The top quarterbacks in the NFL draft have been Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and Blake Bortles for some time now. Those are the quarterbacks most have expected to be off the board as early as the top four picks in the draft. Mark Davis even added last week that he was "very impressed" with Johnny Manziel in particular. But now Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times is reporting the Raiders are leaning toward a fourth option - Derek Carr.
Farmer put out his mock draft Sunday in which he has the Raiders choosing Derek Carr at the fifth overall pick with Manziel still on the board. That alone is not a big deal as mock drafters often have their own ideas of things. But in making that choice, Farmer added an interesting tidbit.
"The Raiders are known for their unconventional picks, so Manziel might seem like a natural fit for them. Word is, though, that they liked Carr more coming out of the Combine." Said Farmer.
The fifth overall pick is considerably high based on most draft projections out there. Much of that projection has to do with concerns over his pocket presence. Then again, Carr himself had said in the interview we had with him that what he was hearing from GM's and coaches was far more positive.
"You turn the senior year tape on and just off the top of my head I can think of ten times where I'm stepping into throws taking shots in the face," said Carr. "The championship game on third downs, we're converting. So, people are gonna say what they're gonna say because that's their job and that's what they wanna do but I've heard from GM's and coaches, it's not something that they're concerned about."
The Raiders could very well have liked Carr better than Manziel. But that doesn't necessarily mean they would draft him at pick number five.
If it is true they like Carr better, another possibility is they might pass on a quarterback in the first round altogether with the hope Carr was still available in the second round. Even another possibility is a trade down in the first round to select Carr, just as they did with D.J. Hayden in last year's draft.
There are a number of possibilities here. Even that the Raiders are high enough on Carr that they would take him at pick number five regardless of draft projection.