The Las Vegas Raiders are going to be at the center of the draft-quarterback chatter (unless they make a move in free agency at the position).
If the Raiders want to focus on drafting a quarterback when they pick at No. 7, they will be at the mercy of other teams picking ahead of them.
We will be discussing this topic often in the coming months. But to get prepared, let’s look at the recent draft classes to see where quarterbacks went. Of course, every draft is different based on what quarterbacks are available. But the truth is, quarterbacks are often over-drafted (that’s why it’s such a high-bust position) because so often teams are desperate to find their franchise quarterback and they force things.
This year, the top quarterback prospects are considered to be Bryce Young (Alabama), C.J. Stroud (Ohio State), Will Levis (Kentucky) and Anthony Richardson (Florida).
The only quarterback to go in the first round was Kenny Pickett to the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 20. It was considered a weak class at the position. If the Raiders were drafting at No. 7 last year and needed a quarterback, they probably would have passed or traded down.
This was a prospect-heavy class at quarterback. Five went in the first round, all in the top. here they are Trevor Lawrence (No. 1), Zach Wilson (No. 3), Trey Lance (No. 3), Justin Fields (No. 11) and Mac Jones (No. 15 and he, of course, joined new Raiders’ brass Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler in New England). Picking at No. 7 was a bad spot this year. The Raiders would have had to try to trade up or maybe reach a bit or try to trade down to get Fields or Jones. Here’s another scary fact: This class hasn’t been that good yet as a group.
Fur quarterbacks went in the first round. Joe Burrow (No. 1), Tua Tagovailoa (No. 5), Justin Herbert (No. 6) and Jordan Love (No. 26). So, No. 7 would have been a trade-up or trade down mode here as well.
Three quarterback went in the first round. Kyler Murray (No. 1), Daniel Jones (No. 6) and the late Dwayne Haskins (No. 15). This would have been a tough year to need a quarterback at No. 7.
This was a robust quarterback class as five went in the first round. They were Baker Mayfield (No. 1), Sam Darnold (No. 3), Josh Allen (No. 7), Josh Rosen (No. 10) and Lamar Jackson (No. 32). This draft history is both encouraging and frightening to the Raiders. Yes, Allen hit right at the Raiders’ sweet spot. But the three other quarterbacks taken in the top 10 were whiffs and Jackson fell through the cracks. It’s a sobering lesson that, yes, you can find your franchise quarterback, but there are no promises. That’s something the Raiders will be mulling over the next several week as they decide what approach they take to finding Derek Carr’s replacement.