Starter: Derek Carr
Depth: Christian Ponder, Matt McGloin, Cody Fajardo
Last year at this time, I was asked quite a few times what the Raiders potential success in 2014 hinged upon. My answer: Matt Schaub. The Raiders needed him to return to his previous Pro Bowl form to have and chance at success last season. Obviously, as the quarterback, if he played poorly the team would also falter. But this also meant that if he was as bad as he had been in 2013, it would force the Raiders to start Derek Carr as a rookie. Which is exactly what happened.
Starting a rookie quarterback is never preferable. It happens a lot because often times a team selects them high in the draft to fill a glaring need. The Raiders hoped Schaub might be able to allow Carr to sit and develop, but that didn't happen. Carr would start from the opener and the team is hoping his 0-10 start and 3-13 season served to accelerate his development.
Condition: Touch and go
Carr's struggles as a rookie were to be expected. He will need to take the next step in his development as the Raiders put their franchise hopes in his hands. He must show marked improvement to justify their faith in him. Good news is he has the physical gifts, the right attitude and the work ethic necessary to succeed. Now we just have to see it all come together on the field.
Christian Ponder will help due to his familiarity with Bill Musgrave's offense. Though the former first round pick has been given a few chances to prove he was a worthy starter and was unable to do so. He too has the physical gifts and positive attitude you look for in a player.
After that it's Matt McGloin, who started six games as a rookie two seasons ago. He makes up for his limited physical gifts with moxie and grit. I would not count him out in the battle to be Carr's primary backup, but he appears to be a long shot for that job... again. Fajardo is an undrafted rookie camp arm.