Raiders should not take a quarterback high in 2014 Draft


The Oakland Raiders are bad. They started the season looking as though they would be a much better team than anyone could have imagined. They were competitive in games they should not have been and even pulled off an upset or two. But before long it became clear that the Raiders were nothing more than a sheep in wolves clothing.

After the Philadelphia Eagles exposed Jason Tarver’s defense by figuring out how to overcome his Mad Hatter-esque blitzing scheme, everything went down hill. The Raiders, who were getting lots of pressure on the quarterback before that game, ceased to effectively do so ever since. The Raiders have been getting burned big time on their blitzes but simply cannot get pressure on the quarterback without them. In turn, this has exposed the secondary for being one of the weaker units on the Raiders defense.

The linebacking group is the only one that really does not need to be upgraded, though contracts do need to be extended. On the defensive line, the Raiders have found some good role players, but aside from Lamarr Houston and maybe Vance Walker, they still need to consider upgrading every position on the line and MUST get a pass rushing specialist.

Long story short? The Raiders defense needs a lot of work.

Meanwhile on offense, while the Raiders offensive line has improved its play over the course of the year, that can be attributed more to having a great offensive line coach in Tony Sporano rather than to having talent on the offensive line. Aside from left tackle Jared Veldheer and center Stefan Wisniewski, general manager Reggie McKenzie either must or at least should consider upgrading every other position along the line.

The wide receivers group is lack luster to say the least. While Andre Holmes and Rod Streater have both shown signs of deserving to wear the Silver and Black for years to come, neither has proven himself to be a game changing number one receiver week in and week out. Beyond those two, there is barely a guy worth guaranteeing a roster spot.

The running back position seems solid, but clearly quarterback is a position that needs to be addressed and tight end, while having a good young option in Mychal Rivera, could definitely use some depth. After all, it would be nice if the Raiders could follow the recent trend and run some two tight end sets with two tight ends who pose a threat in the passing game.

Long story short? The Raiders offense needs a lot of work.

Now, as I noted above, quarterback is most certainly one of the positions on offense that the Raiders need to address. Neither Terrelle Pryor nor Matt McGloin has shown enough to deserve to be the outright starter going forward. There are a lot of Raiders fans who are convinced that one or the other is the future of the Raiders but every single one of those fans is living in a delusion of lowered expectations created by 11 seasons without a winning record.

When a team is bad for that long, fans often begin to see small accomplishments as big ones and think players who are above average are much better than they are. This is not to say that neither of these guys COULD end up being the quarterback of the future, but if you believe one of them has already earned that spot or proven themselves, then you clearly do not expect much from your quarterback,

So, given the fact that the quarterback position is far from being settled, why on Earth would I argue that the Raiders absolutely positively should not spend a high draft pick on a quarterback? The answer is simple. Look at the Seattle Seahawks.

As much as I dislike Cheat Carroll, you cannot argue with the results he is getting in Seattle. Much like Reggie McKenzie has done with the Raiders, Carroll tore the Seahawks to the ground and completely rebuilt. But rather than draft a quarterback high in the draft, or sign a big time free agent, the Seahawks used stop gap quarterbacks for two years while Carroll built up the rest of the team.

Because of this, when the Seahawks did go looking for their franchise quarterback, they were able to install Russell Wilson onto a team that was ready to win. Wilson did not have to struggle behind a bad offensive line as a rookie. He may not have had the best receiving threats at his disposal, but he definitely had options. He had a great running game and one of the league’s best defenses to take the pressure off of him 

Who knows what Wilson would have done if he was put into the starting role on a bad team where he was constantly running for his life and trying to carry the entire team on his shoulders like many young quarterbacks are asked to do. Sure, some like Andrew Luck have been able to step up to the challenge. But more often than not, being drafted as a QB for a bad team leads to bad QB play.

The Raiders have two guys with a lot of potential to be starters, and who have already shown they are more than good enough to be stop gap options. Rather than spending a high draft pick on a high risk position like quarterback, the Raiders should add another decently priced option through free agency or later rounds in the draft to compete with McGloin and Pryor. Guys like former Raiders QBs Josh McCown and Jason Campbell have shown in relief time that they would be good options to bring in and step up the quarterback position without giving away the ship.

Hopefully, the future starting quarterback will emerge from one of the cheaper and less risky options next season. If, however, they do not, the Raiders will be looking at a stacked quarterback class in 2015 and will be able to insert a quarterback onto a much better team, thus giving whomever that quarterback is a much better opportunity to succeed.

Previous articleCardinals survive after epic collapse
Next article2013 marked by tough losses and bright Bolt’s future
  • Jeff Little

    Agreed! Good article, hopefully in the 2014 NFL Draft the Raiders will have the tough task of deciding between DT Louis Nix or OLB Anthony Barr for their 1st round pick. Although DT is a higher priority and enhances why I suggested the Raiders draft Star Lotulelei last year and have wanted the Silver and Black to draft a DT going back to 2006 when my squad missed on Haloti Ngata.I would love to see the Raiders trade down pick up an extra 2rd and a 4th or 5th round picks (based on draft trade value)- draft DT Louis Nix in 1st, RT Ja’Wuan James in 2nd, DE Ed Stinson 2nd, QB AJ McCarron in 3rd, WR Paul Richardson in 4th, DT Aaron Donald 5th, G Kevin Danser in 6th & CB Keith McGill in the 7th.

    • James Arcellana

      I havent dont my draft research yet so I cannot at this time speak intelligently about who the Raiders should take, but from a position stand point, I would LOVE to see Reggie build this team from the ground up, starting with the lines. Would love a dominant DT or DE or a book end to play opposite Veldheer.

      • Jeff Little

        You will and we can re-visit the topic. I’m all for building the team from the ground up with a dominant DT Nix or Anthony Johnson and getting a steal late like Aaron Donald again, Good Article.

      • Anonymous

        My problem with Reggie is he talks so much about building up the trenches but he goes & gets Hayden when their were quality OL & DL available last year

  • The Dude

    glad to see you write this article James. I’ve been trying to preach this to the Nation on twitter but there are far too many stubborn and thick-headed members that it’s become too much like a chore. I mentioned Campbell a week or two ago as a possible stop gap. I also wouldn’t mind kicking the tires on Ryan Mallet; I think he has all the tools to be a really good QB in this league.

    once again, great article James

    The Dude Abides

    • James Arcellana

      Thanks man! Yeah, I like both Campbell and Josh McCown as stop gaps. Id be curious about Mallett if the price isnt too high. But I really hope we build a strong team instead of going for a flashy pick.

    • Jeff Little

      You’re not alone The Dude, I have been saying the same thing and facing the same resistance an backlash. Would love to have Mallet I just don’t want to trade with the Patriots.

  • samiam2112

    If Teddy B falls to us it would be tough to pass on, but if Clowney is there it would be tough to pass on him as well IMO. Will be an interesting adventure regardless.

    • James Arcellana

      I really like Teddy B, but even with him, I am not anywhere near being sold he is a sure fire hit. But I think there will be some lineman early in the draft who will be close to guaranteed impact players who would represent less of a risk. IMO, just cannot afford to miss with first pick this year and we need so much help on both lines, Id prefer stick to one of those guys.

    • Anonymous

      IMO Clowney shouldn’t be taken. I don’t think the guy loves football

      • James Arcellana

        I gotta be honest. I’ve heard a little about this issue but not enough to really make an opinion on his love of football. But from a purely physical standpoint, he is exciting. BUT, we def dont want another Rolo McClain so if there are serious character issues I dont want him. Then again, if there are, I dont think Reggie will take him.