First Round: Qb isn’t the answer

I think Mock Drafts at this point are stupid. The Draft Order is not set, prospects haven’t declared, free agents haven’t been resigned, and players haven’t been cut. Additionally, a lot of things happen from here to April that separate draft picks. People around the NFL dissect every part of these players, which makes many of them rise and fall.

A Few of the Mock Drafts coming out have had the Raiders selecting a QB in the top 5. I don’t think that is the answer for a team lacking talent throughout the roster. Regardless of who plays QB for the Raiders, they are going to need weapons around them. That starts with an offensive-line that needs depth and more aggression. The Raiders receivers and tight ends have been mediocre and inconsistent at best. The running-backs have been better, but Rashaad Jennings and Darren McFadden might not be on this team. I don’t like the idea of having a young quarterback, RB, and WR. People think the Raiders should draft a QB in the first round usually believe it is time for the Raiders to stop seeking stop-gap QB’s, and  should draft their franchise QB.

It is not that easy to draft a franchise QB. It is rare that a QB immediately comes in and changes the culture. If Dennis Allen is brought back, He and Reggie Mckenzie can not afford for a franchise QB to have growing pains. Their jobs will rely on the success of a 1st round QB’s leadership and success. Neither can Mark Davis afford another losing season if he wants to keep the Raiders in Oakland.

Free Agency:

I think the Raiders should go out and sign or trade for another QB. If Jay Cutler is available, some people think he is the answer, however, the Raiders just traded a gun-slinging QB named Carson Palmer. Not to mention, Jay Cutler is going to be owed lots of money.If Eli Manning becomes available than he probably falls into this same category. Both are upgrades, but are they the answer? Maybe in Al Davis days…

Then there are the backups like Ryan Mallett or Kirk Cousins. I am weary on those solutions because of the Matt Flynn effect. Backup QB’s are Backups for a reason! Mental reps are great, but they don’t equal results and neither of these guys have extensive experience.

There are also the Salvage projects. Maybe the Raiders think they can salvage some  production out of Michael Vick. Maybe they believe Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, or Matt Schaub can benefit from a change of scenery. These guys have competed at a highlevel, and the Raiders don’t have anyone on the roster like that.

Brandan Weeden, Jake Lockert, Jimmy Clausen, Christian Ponder, and Dwayne Gabbert,  have all flashed ability. They are also draft busts, which is why their former teams may decide to go in another direction. Sometimes a new situation can spark new direction for a quarterback. Rich Gannon is an example of that, but there are many others who have failed. The Raiders have gone this route before, but these guys were drafted high for a reason. Maybe one more season can remind people of that.

Then there are the journeymen: Jason Campbell, Luke McCown, Chad Henne, Ryan Firzpaterick, or Chad Henne. These guys days as potential starters are behind them. While they are not franchise guys, they do have starting experience, and could lead a team with good players around them.At any rate, Any of these guys give the Raiders competition at the position to push Pryor, McGloin, or any other quarterback. Maybe with the right coaches and play-makers in place,  they can lead a playoff team. It has been done before, ask Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson.

The Draft:

I am no where qualified to talk on the draft. I haven’t done hours of extensive film research, dissecting these quarterbacks, but here are my thoughts on the QB class based on my reading and observations.

So far, the consensus #1 QB in the draft is Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville. It is hard to find a scenario where the Jaguars and Texans pass on him. Hence, I don’t think the Raiders answer is at the top of the draft. It seems like most of the QB’s in this draft have their strengths and weaknesses, but Bridgewater is the only can’t miss.

After Bridgewater, it seems like Derek Carr is the next guy, but his last name is Carr, and he played at Fresno State. That may be a plus for some fans, however, to me, those are minuses.

Then some people have the electric TAMU Johnny Manziel and others think UCF’s Blake Bortes are shooting up draft boards.  However, I am not sure either of these guys are ready to change a franchise on day 1. These guys could go anywhere in the first or second round. I think they have strengths and potential, but are they Andrew Luck? I’d be presently surprised if they are. Maybe in the 2nd round, but the Raiders have two many needs to take a chance on one of these guys in rd. 1.

The Raiders are better off drafting a value guy in the Late Rounds. Maybe Clemson’s Tahj Boyd on day two, or Miami’s Stephen Morris on day 3. How about a developmental pick like Georgia’s Aaron Murray or LSU’s Zach MettenBerger. Both guys are hurt, but they have had high draft ratings before and maybe a year of seasoning could help them. They would be a great value on day 2 0r 3 of the draft.  San Jose’s David Fales or Alabama’s A.J. McCarron could have as much upside as Bortes, Carr, or Manziel but would be a much better draft value. All of these guys have starting experience and some consistency at a high level, which could translate to the next level.

The Raiders have too many needs to think drafting a QB #1 will change all of their problems. There is enough value in the later rds for the Raiders to take a chance that one of those guys can push a guy on the roster or a guy they bring in. Either way, the Raiders hope the guy they draft will pan out better than Tyler Wilson.

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About Pete D. Camarillo

B.A. in Journalism from CSUN and Raiders fan since birth. Work featured on Fansided, Sports Out West, various other online publications and in print. Former Sundial Sports Editor and LA Clippers intern. Follow me on Twitter: @petecertified.

Posted on December 18, 2013, in Commentary, Oakland Raiders and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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