Until it’s proven otherwise, we must consider the real possibility of the Raiders adding a quarterback this offseason.
This has nothing to do whether we like Derek Carr or not (I think he’s fine, but not sure he’ll ever be a star as he approaches his 29th birthday), it’s about whether the Raiders are actually looking for quarterbacks. Reading all tea leaves in free agency and draft preparations, it looks like the Raiders are, at least, considering adding at the position.
Free agency will take care of itself in less than two weeks.
If the Raiders do sign a new starter, they could still add a quarterback in the draft. In that scenario, the chance of the drafting a quarterback outside of the first round would likely rise because they would want to start working with a project.
Let’s look at a couple of quarterbacks who could be taken outside of the first round who could interest the Raiders:
Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
Draft range: 2-3 rounds
Why would the Raiders have interest: He’s very bright. Las Vegas general manager Mike Mayock loves players from big problems. Hurts played at two big programs, at Alabama before transferring to Oklahoma. He is very coachable and is a proven winner. The Raiders may see the value in making him a developmental player whether they keep Carr or not. The team has already spoken to Hurts.
Jacob Eason, Washington
Draft range: 2-3 rounds
Why would the Raiders have interest: He could be one of the best value picks at the position. But Eason didn’t have a great combine and many people thought he saw his once favorable chances of being drafted in the first round go away. However, despite his poor performance in Indy, Eason does have good film. If the Raiders look him and he is available with one of their third-rounds picks, they may be intrigued.
James Morgan, Florida International
Draft range: 4-7 rounds
Why would the Raiders have interest: He has raw skills and has a solid NFL build at 6-foot-4, 213 pounds. He wasn’t very accurate in college, but perhaps the Raiders see him as someone they can mold as a project. They are reportedly interested in him and both Gruden and Mayock scouted him at the Shrine game in January.
Conclusion: The Raiders’ quarterback question will eventually get answered, but the secondary draft prospect list is certainly a possible avenue for Gruden and Mayock to take.