With the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine fresh in our memories, Raider Nation has a little more ammo as they speculate about the 2014 NFL Draft and what the Oakland Raiders will do with that #5 pick. Reports coming out of the Combine were that the Raiders and owner Mark Davis were impressed by young quarterback Johnny Manziel out of Texas A&M.
And here it is, yet another topic about the Raiders that undoubtedly polarizes the fan base. Some say he WILL be a great fit, others say he doesn’t belong in silver and black and still others are pushing for the Raiders to sign a veteran like Michael Vick.
Some are of the mindset that if a franchise QB is drafted, the Raiders must use this #5 pick in a flashy manner by swooping in and picking up one of the top draft prospects. Others feel that bringing in a veteran QB to groom Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin will be enough as these two players showed flashes of promise in the 2013 season.
When asked on Twitter why Manziel would be a good fit for the silver and black, Raider Nation provided a variety of responses.
Some talked about how he’s currently the most accurate QB available in the draft with a crazy style of play that will bring the swag back to the Raiders. I wish that the Raiders’ fans could be the analysts discussing the draft prospects with such colorful commentary! Fans who think he will make a great addition to the Raiders offense talk about how he’s gotten to a place where he’s become a legitimate passer, making reads, throwing with velocity and that his footwork is constantly improving.
As fans see it, Manziel is versatile enough to sit in the pocket or run for yards, making him elusive.
Former Raiders QB Rich Gannon is of a completely different mindset and was quoted this past week as saying that Manziel would be a poor fit for the Raiders organization. When asked to elaborate on this stance, he stated that it’s a bad fit purely “from the standpoint that I think a team has to be ready for a young quarterback. I don’t think that team is quite ready yet.”
And this makes complete sense as we all take a step back to realize that yes, the Raiders have way more than just the QB void to fill. At this point, it may just be easier to make a list of needs that the Raiders do NOT need filled rather than listing all the positions that need attention in this all too important offseason.
The offensive line struggled mightily last season leading some to believe that ANY QB behind that line would not be able to shine to his fullest potential and this is what Gannon is referencing by saying the Raiders just aren’t ready for a rookie QB.
He goes on to say that,
I think my biggest concern is the discipline from a quarterback standpoint. Footwork, sitting in the pocket, going through reads and progressions. I think he has to go somewhere where they have a very disciplined coordinator and quarterback coach. Somebody who is really going to grind on him and stay on him for those first couple years as he learns the system. He’s a guy who likes to ad lib a lot, and you can’t always do that in the NFL.
It remains to be seen if Manziel possesses that level of maturity that is necessary in order to succeed in the NFL. It seems that he would fare better with a team that has more pieces in place that can just plug him in and go on to win big, but most of the teams with the highest draft picks this year aren’t really in that position yet, which is why they have such high picks. It remains to be seen what the Raiders will do with that #5 pick, but it sure does spark some fun debate within Raider Nation.