With the draft quickly approaching, it is time again for my annual Raider Draft Radar series in which I look at a few prospects who the Raiders could target in the upcoming draft. Along with the player, I include the round in which the Raiders would be likely to take the player should he be available with their pick in that round.
The Raiders are looking for a third option at quarterback to go alongside Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor. That QB could compete for the starting job, the primary backup job, or simply wait in the wings as a future hopeful. Either way, the Raiders would do well to add another good option at quarterback in this draft.
Here are those quarterback who show up on the Raiders draft radar:
EJ Manuel, Florida State - Round 2
Few prospects raised their draft stock more in Senior Bowl than EJ Manuel - and the Raiders coaching staff was watching his performance from the sideline. The Raiders coaches were also on hand at the scouting combine when Manuel showed impressive arm strength and overall QB skills. He has risen form a mid-round quarterback to being in the first round discussion. If the Raiders can manage to trade back in the first round and pick up a second round pick, Manuel becomes an option.
Tyler Bray, Tennessee - Round 4
Bray is unpolished but the Raiders can allow him to sit back and learn for the time being. He fits the pocket passer mold that offensive coordinator, Greg Olson, likes. Bray's arm motion is a little odd but the good news is it reminds a lot of people of Philip Rivers' delivery so the stigma is not there. Reggie McKenzie is familiar with him as they are both Tennessee alums. Not only did McKenzie likely watch all of his college games, but he also attended his Pro Day. Racking up 34 TD's and doing his part to maintain or raise the star power of his two wideouts, Cordarrelle Paterson and Justin Hunter to top round status, makes him a very attractive option midway through the draft.
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas - Round 5
The other Tyler. Which round Wilson will go in the draft is difficult to pin down. Depending on how teams view him, he is expected to come off the board somewhere between round 3 and round 5. I wouldn't expect the Raiders to show interest until at least round 5 -- that is, of course, if they can make some trades to get into the fifth round (they don't currently have one). That is when his intangibles become enticing. Took a step back as a senior after a nice junior season. His completion percentage has always been north of 62% but he threw more interceptions (13) and less touchdowns (21) than he did as a junior (24 TD, 6 Int). He is worth a mid/late flyer to see if he can get back to the level of player he was in 2011. He has the passion and arm talent to make that possible. He draws comparisons to Matt Hasselbeck, like Matt Flynn, was a former late round pick by the Packers while Reggie McKenzie was in the Green Bay front office.
Nick Florence, Baylor - Round the bend
He WOULD have been a great fit for the Raiders if he hadn't decided to give up football after a record breaking season. He was stuck behind Heisman Trophy winner and number two overall pick, Robert Griffin III for three seasons at Baylor. He finally got his chance last year and he blew up. Not a single quarterback in this draft had more passing yards than his 4,309 last season. What a shame.