If you are an Oakland Raiders fan day two turned out to be just as great as day one, and the organization is clearly headed in the right direction. Their selections of Fresno St. QB Derek Carr and OG Gabe Jackson were two more great selections and we’ll break down why.
We start with the much more well-known of the two who was selected near the top of the second round. Derek Carr could potentially be the top quarterback of this draft, and that’s not much of a reach. He does have his limitations though, and he understands that.
Raiders QB Derek Carr said at combine: I’m not 6-6 and won’t run 4.3, but I’ll out-prepare anybody. No wonder Rich Gannon likes him.
— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) May 9, 2014
Also on Carr’s side is his situation. He will get to sit behind Matt Schaub — most presumably for a year or two — and can be eased into the position. Who knows, maybe midway through the season if Schaub doesn’t pan out, Carr could be ready to go.
The fact is, the Raiders not only got a great player, but a great player with great value. I know mock drafts are all pretty much just educated guesses, but there were plenty who had Carr pretty high on the board. To get a top-tier quarterback, along with probably the second-best defensive player in the draft, was a fantastic one-two punch for Oakland.
We haven’t even gotten to pick #3, which was Mississippi State guard Gabe Jackson. He was a ‘lifer’ during his college career at left guard and has the potential to earn a starting spot. But, perhaps the thing that stands out most to me among all the scouting reports is the fact that he has not given up a sack in his last two season at left guard. No, he didn’t miss a game. Yes, that’s in the SEC.
Sure, he’s got his strengths and weaknesses like everyone else, but the Oakland Raiders needed help on the offensive line and this is a solid pick. Sure they have other needs, but just like every other team in the league they have to walk that line of drafting for ‘best available’ versus ‘team need’. Since both their first and second round picks filled both of those parameters maybe they felt they could take a chance on a guy they really liked.
Oakland’s Director of Player Personnel Joey Clinkscales even hinted at their approach to the draft stating “I guess there is a point in time where the draft becomes a need, but right now we are still following the board. We’re going to follow the board and take the best player available. At a point in time when it becomes a need draft, we’ll go down that line.” It’s been working so far, so why fix it?
Overall, I can’t say day two was better than day one. On the other hand I can’t say it was worse either, and would instead say both were equally great.
Hopefully Derek Carr is finally that franchise quarterback the Oakland Raiders have been seeking for years. Underrated in all of this is the signing of Schaub, which allows Carr to grow into the position rather than be rushed into it and become overwhelmed, much like Derek’s brother David in Houston.