The Raiders have holes that need to be filled on offense and defense, but have a solid young quarterback who just recently was praised by head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock.
So, it seems the smart approach for the Raiders in the upcoming draft is to use the team’s three first-round draft picks for impact players to help QB Derek Carr win games in 2019.
Or, the Raiders could do something crazy. Something that makes little sense.
In that category would be using the fourth overall pick to take Missouri quarterback Drew Lock.
Lock was coached by Gruden at the recent Senior Bowl, and received praise from the Raiders head coach. So, of course, some have linked Lock to the Raiders – especially with almost constant speculation that Carr – despite the praise of Gruden and Mayock – will actually be traded away. This week, Chad Reuter of NFL.com has the Raiders taking Lock with the fourth selection in his latest mock draft.
Drafting Lock, however, seems like it would be a waste of an opportunity to make the Raiders better in 2019.
A wiser course would be to use the fourth pick to draft an immediate impact player such as defensive end Josh Allen of Kentucky, and then get two more play-right-now talents with the 24th and 27th picks in the first round.
Drafting Lock and trading away Carr seems like a recipe for disaster in 2019. Perhaps Lock will be a good NFL quarterback someday. But expecting big things from him as a rookie seems highly unlikely. And Carr, after a rough start to 2018, turned things around to have a solid season. If he can stay healthy and play with an improved cast – and with a defense that can actually stop opponents – the Raiders could take a long step forward in 2019.
But with Lock? That seems like a long shot.
Lock, at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, has a strong arm and quick release, and is known for taking chances – making both big plays and big mistakes. He’s also reported to need help on his footwork and, according to one report, “his pro transition will require a little time.”
In his four years at Missouri, Lock threw 99 touchdown passes, 39 interceptions and completed 56.9 percent of his throws. But, he regressed as a senior. In 2017, Lock threw for 3,964 yards and 44 TDs; in 2018, he threw for 3,498 yards and 28 TDs.
For a team still trying to recover from the trades of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper last season, using the No. 4 overall pick on a quarterback such as Lock would seem to be a terrible decision.