McGloin. McMoxie. McLovin’. Call him what you want, but the Oakland Raiders have one of the best third string quarterbacks in the league. Replacing an injured Terrelle Pryor in week 11 last year, Matt McGloin’s first pass against Matt Schaub’s Texans was a five-yard touchdown strike to Denarius Moore. There was no wild scrambling or option-reads. Instead, there were back shoulder fades and deep outs. The Raiders, for the first time that year, had a quarterback. McGloin would finish the game with three touchdowns – the most by an undrafted quarterback ever – and the season with over 1,500 yards and eight touchdowns and eight interceptions in six starts.
There is no doubt in my mind that if McGloin was a first round pick and put up those numbers in 2013, the Raiders would have a very different quarterback room this year. McGloin wasn’t perfect. His fearless, risky style often brought up comparisons to Brett Favre’s ‘gun-slinging’ style. But he is intelligent, he can complete difficult throws, and the offense rallied behind him. For a few reasons, though, there is a phenomenon in the NFL where early round draft picks are given more time to prove themselves than those undrafted. Dennis Allen wrapped up the 2013 season by admitting, “I’m not sure that we have the quarterback of the future in the building right now.”
So McGloin entered the 2014 offseason behind Matt Schaub and second round draft pick Derek Carr. Schaub has been underwhelming, but his supporting cast has also let him down with dropped passes in the preseason. Carr has been solid and exciting to watch, but he left the Lions game with bruised ribs and a concussion. Enter Matt McGloin. Playing against backups (and with backups), McGloin played immediately went deep to Andre Holmes for 29-yards, and to TE Scott Simonson for 24 yards. He would finish the game with a monster 19-yard game-winning touchdown to Brice Butler.
This preseason, McGloin has played five series, and all five provided scoring opportunities.
“It was nice to see Matt, I’m talking about Matt McGloin, get in there and take us down to that two-minute drive and get us a touchdown to win the game,” Allen said on Saturday. “I recognize that it’s a preseason game, but I think when you’re trying to build something I think any time you’re able to come away with a win, I think that’s a positive for your football team.”
When the Raiders traded for Schaub, they immediately proclaimed him the starter. There would be no competition. Should the Raiders scrap their plans to start Schaub? No. McGloin was not given an open chance to be the starting quarterback role, but to give it to him after a few nice preseason series is premature. But the question remains: has McGloin’s undrafted status inhibited him from a fair shot to be the Raiders’ quarterback? McGloin, after his game-winning touchdown to Butler, answered this himself.