Should The Oakland Raiders Select A Quarterback With Their First Pick?

Dec 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) rushes with the ball during the second half of the Russell Athletic Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders’ quarterback position has been a work in progress over the last several seasons. The names Andrew Walter, Daunte Culpepper, JaMarcus Russell, Jason Campbell, Carson Palmer, and Terrelle Pryor have been the Raiders’ passing leaders over the last eight seasons. Those names do not exactly provide the fan base with warm fuzzy feelings of memorable moments. Only of those players eclipsed 3,000 yards passing and that was Carson Palmer last with over 4,000 yards, but that team had all but abandoned the running and put it all on Palmer’s shoulders. Overall, quarterback has been a position that the Raiders have been looking to solidify for quite awhile.

Last offseason, the Raiders felt they maybe have finally solved their quarterback position by trading for Matt Flynn. Flynn’s tenure as a Raider was tumultuous at best, as he lost out his starting spot to Pryor following the preseason and then found himself on the street by the midway point of the season. Flynn’s fall was disastrous, as he went from being the presumed opening day starter to released after being passed up by undrafted rookie Matt McGloin.

The other train wreck move the Raiders’ front office made regarding the position was the drafting of Tyler Wilson. Wilson was a promising prospect entering the NFL Draft, but a rough senior season damaged his stock and the Raiders snatched him up in the fourth round. Wilson was seen as a potential quarterback of the future, as he possessed solid physical skills and needed to be groomed for a couple seasons. That opportunity would never materialize, as Wilson would have an uninspiring training camp and would be among the final cuts at the end of the preseason. Wilson would be placed on the teams practice squad for most of the year, before being signed by the Tennessee Titans on their 53-man roster. The Raiders’ wasted a fourth round pick on a player that could not even last one season on their poor roster.

As for players that were able to make impact on the season, Pryor and McGloin showed flashes. Pryor was given the starting position coming out of training camp and preseason. He looked much more developed as a passer and many people thought the Raiders may have finally found a potential answer to their quarterback question. Then injuries struck, as Pryor would miss a couple games due to various injuries, and he was never able to regain that momentum that he had at the beginning of the season.

The most worrisome aspect of Pryor’s season is the regression that he showed. Pryor had a quarterback rating above 70 in his first four starts, but he only surpassed 56 in every other game he played in other than the season finale against the Broncos. In that game against Denver, Pryor played a half against mainly second and third-team players, which upped his rating for the game. Pryor has one year remaining on his deal, but you could see the team cutting ties with him in the offseason to prevent any sort of problems with the locker room.

McGloin was the major surprise of the season, as he rose from being a relative unknown as an undrafted free agent to being the starting quarterback for six games in the second half of the season. McGloin lived up to the hype of his scouting report in that he is a fiery competitor with limited physical attribute, but his intangibles are off the charts. McGloin looked more impressive than Pryor as a passer and should completely surpass him, if he continues to develop. Ultimately, McGloin is still limited by his lack of elite arm strength and lack of accuracy and should develop into a borderline starter or solid backup.

With the lack of a quarterback to build around, the Raiders will probably have to look at potentially using their first round pick on quarterback. It would be their first quarterback selected in the first round since they took Russell with the first overall pick in 2007. If the Raiders decide to take a quarterback in the draft, who should they look at with the fifth overall pick?

There are several quarterbacks in the upcoming draft that could be worth taking with the fifth overall pick, unless a player such as Jadeveon Clowney or Sammy Watkins is available.

1. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville – Bridgewater would be the quarterback that the Raiders would want to fall to them. Despite the mention of some other names potentially going higher, Bridgewater is the top quarterback in the draft and arguably one of the top three players in the draft. Bridgewater is the most complete quarterback in the draft with elite physical tools and a great feel for the nuances of the position. His transition to the pro game should be the shortest of all the quarterbacks. The front office would do back flips if the talented signal caller from Louisville was available at their selection.

2. Blake Bortles, Central Florida – Bortles seems to be the fastest rising player in the draft. Bortles has the frame that scouts love and his brings plenty in intangibles. As for physical tools, Bortles has good, but not quite elite, arm strength and shows a good feel in the pocket. Bortles is also a great athlete with good speed and mobility. His accuracy can be an issue at time, especially on the deep throws. He needs to work on his feel for intricacies of the position, such as, using his eyes to manipulate coverage and feeling the pressure in the pocket. He might start with the lower floor than Bridgewater, but his ceiling should be in the same area.

3. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M – Manziel is the most polarizing prospect in the draft with no person being sure if his game translates to the NFL. Manziel is a play-maker with the ball in hands and has the ability to make a play that takes your breath away. He is an exceptional athlete that can make plenty of plays with his feet and seems to possess eyes in the back of his head with elite spatial awareness. He has enough arm strength to make NFL type throws, but it is not elite. He has a tendency to force throws or throw off balance to make a play. He lacks traditional height for the position and could need to be put into a system that utilizes his unique talents, instead of trying to force him into a traditional system.

4. Derek Carr, Fresno State – The dark horse of the group is Carr. Carr had the most productive season with 5,038 yards and 50 touchdowns through the air. He possesses elite size and arm talent with the ability to make every throw on the field. He shows good accuracy and anticipation on his throws, while showing a feel for reading coverages. He shows sneaky athleticism, with the ability to move around in the pocket to elude the pass rush or picking up a few yards if the defense vacates the line. He is the one traditional drop back quarterback in the top portion of the draft. He has shown a tendency to struggled when facing a strong pass rush and is not allowed to set his feet to throw. He also did not face elite competition with Fresno State in the Western Athletic Conference and the Mountain West Conference.

Topics: Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, Johnny Manziel, Matt McGloin, Oakland Raiders, Teddy Bridgewater, Terrelle Pryor

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  • RN808

    Don’t think RM wants to start another rookie QB and his reputation would take too big a hit if he bombs on another QB in the draft. Clowney would be a better pick because their defense needs an identity, and clowney could turn into a disruptive force for years to come. There is a good chance the top three QBs and clowney are all off the board by pick 5, which would leave them in a position to draft a #1 receiver(watkins) or top tackle(Mathews). We will need to see how all these players perform in the combine to really get an idea of who the top pick should be, but with all the needs the raiders have, any of these players will be welcomed. If they do not pick a QB, they should bring in a veteran that can still play at a high level, because MM and Jennings as the starters equal to losses and that will not change, they both played well for backups, but neither are elite at their position and cannot produce at a high level week after week as starters. The raiders were 1-5 with them starting and are lucky to have won one. Raiders need to have a COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE, and find starters not good backups.

    • Oscar gonzalez

      I agree with everything you said, but I don’t believe all those losses were on rj and mm. We lost most of those Games because of a horrible defense in the 2nd half of the season. I would love to see a Sammy Watkins in the 1st Rd and maybe a qb in the 2nd round.

  • Chris Schroeder

    Simple question. The Raiders obviously don’t have their QB of the future as made very clear this season. Depending on which QB is still on the board at the 5th selection they should definitely take a top QB unless Clowney is available. Bridgewater Will be taken in the first round. The coin toss here assuming either one of them is still available would be Clowney or Johny football. And I only mention him because Reggie McKenzie was very open about how high he is on Manziel. Personally I think three of those quarterbacks will be taken before the Raiders even get there pick. The only one not taking a quarterback is the Rams

  • Crusader10

    Why all this hating on the Tyler Wilson pick? When a player with his skills is available in the fourth round, he is certainly someone to take a low risk chance on. It was a (big) boom/(low) bust pick. Why it did not work out, I don’t know. It wasn’t like they took Ryan Leaf or Tim Couch in the first round. (or, er, Jamarcus Russell or Todd Marinovich)

    • PJ

      Or Matt Flynn. You new Raider Nation clones of the new era are completely stupid. TP has never had a chance to grow like Brady, Manning, Breeze but you guys want to win now? So lets take a complete rookie and start over…again? These guys are going to take 3+ years to mature and while we have these rookies running for their lives? what will you be saying then when Tomlin takes TP and they take the new era QB to thr SB? Rediculous!!!

  • Ricky Bobby

    If TP doesn’t start it will be because DA IS STILL TRYING TO SABATOGE TP AS A RAIDER. All this BS ABOUT MM & he was the GUY THAT SHOWED REGRESSION, losing 5 CONSECUTIVE GAMES. The great AL DAVIS NEVER GAF ABOUT STATS, JWB!!

    • John Bencomo

      Who gives a shit about tp im tired off hearing you winning ass crybabies about him its about the team we wanna win now not wait on a bum to develop he SUCKS …… AND YOU GUYS CAN TAKE THAT TP AND FLUSH YOUR ASSES DOWN THE DRAIN REAL RAIDERS NATION

      • Jetlife510

        You must be a dumbass who does not know anout talent. We need Clowney not no QB we HAVE PRYOR IDIOT!

  • AF AF AF

    I think we go cloney but i dont think he is going to be available. If he isnt i would go after a WR OR QB. Keep in mind we do need a Work horse RB. Is there a gREAT RB. Available i the draft. This draft isnt really deep with one position its pretty good all the way arpund but nothing too great at one position atleast from what i have seen. What do you guys think?

  • Ronald Weathersby

    We could draft the next Tom Brady or Peyton Manning but if we don’t shore up the OL they will bomb. Our QBs are constantly running for their live and the running game is too inconsistent. We need help on both lines! It doesn’t matter who is taking snaps if they don’t have time to throw!