Jon Gruden loves quarterbacks. As an NFL head coach, he’s always coveted quarterback talent. As a broadcaster, he spoke at length about the pros and cons of both college and pro passers.
And, Gruden has spoken highly about the depth and quality of quarterbacks in this draft class.
So, as he approaches this upcoming draft, Gruden could be tempted to use one of the team’s three first-round picks on a quarterback, even though he and general manager Mike Mayock say incumbent starter Derek Carr is a “franchise” player.
Many NFL analysts have speculated ever since Gruden took the Oakland job that Gruden will eventually bring in a replacement for Carr.
But as Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote this week, it’s seeming less likely that Gruden will draft a quarterback in the first round. The offseason moves by the Raiders to bring in receivers such as Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams – while selling those receivers on Carr’s talent – don’t signal that Gruden is likely to pick a new young passer or trade Carr.
This offseason the Raiders have added talent to the offensive line and receiving corps to help Carr, wrote Gehlken. It would be odd now to go in another direction with a rookie quarterback such as Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray or Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins.
Wrote Gehlken: “After the Raiders made significant investments in both areas, it defies logic they’d next assume the learning curve associated with a young quarterback. This is either a franchise less than two weeks from an all-time curveball or they are in the middle of doing what they were expected to do all along. That is, surround Carr with more pieces and allow him a chance to develop under the stability Gruden’s (10-year) contract affords.”