The Quarterback position is the toughest position in the NFL. When a team succeeds than the QB gets the credit, and when a team loses they usually take the blame. A QB can be loved one week and hated the next. There are only about 90 QB jobs in the NFL, so it is a position based on the results.
Translated to the Raiders, the quarterback position embodies The Raiders season. At times, Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin have showed ability to compete and make plays at this level. Other times, they have looked over-matched and over-ratted. Raider Analyst Rich Gannon and Raider Beat Writer Vic Tafur have both said next year’s starting QB is not on this roster. Last week, I was going to write that the Raiders QB shouldn’t be drafted in the higher rounds. Since, my status has wavered, but I still don’t think the Raiders answer is the high rounds of the draft.
The Raiders came into the season knowing they were salary-strapped, which limited the talent on the squad. The Raiders brought Matt Flynn in hopes that he could manage the game, and not hurt the team’s chances of winnings, despite the limited amount of players around him. When that failed, They started Terrelle Pryor in hopes that he could succeed despite his make-shift offensively. They hoped Terrelle Pryor could be the explosive play-maker, even-though McFadden and other guys were hurt. Then they brought in McGloin, hoping he c0uld be the intangible leader and get the ball out quick despite McFadden, Moore, and other guys being hurt.
The idea is, The Raiders have set their quarterback’s up for failure, all season. They have hoped that McGloin and Pryor would be able to make magic with a limitation of ingredients in their playmaker pantry. Both of these guys are young quarterbacks with limitations, but the Raiders have hoped they would be able to have success in spite of their terrible circumstances. McGloin and Pryor have been expected to do a lot with a little.
I want to see what these guys can do with a full set of playmakers around them. I want to see what they can do in a position where they can actually succeed. I want to evaluate if they can be successful in propelling a playoff team rather than a bottom feeder.
Pryor made leaps and bounds last off-season, admiting he still is just learning the position. I want to see if he can make the same growth after another off-season. I think the play of McGloin may signal that the organization is sour on Pryor. He has been in the organization long enough, and maybe he doesn’t deserve another season of evaluation. However, Pryor admitted he didn’t play the position until two years ago. He is still learing how to be a quarterback, and I think he can still develop with another year. Pryor has the leadership and confidence that you want in a Quarterback. He has some of the best god-given ability in the NFL. I think Pryor wants and can give more to the organization that took a chance on him. Even if he fails to progress, his contract ends next season and both can move on.
As for McGloin, if this guy is the intangible hard-worker and leader, then I want to see what he can do after an off-season of NFL preparation. The Raiders have already invested five NFL starts into McGloin, so he needs another offseason to prove he can play at this level. McGloin is undersized, he was the underdog walk on, and he probably will be an underdog next season. If McGloin possesses the leadership and work ethic the organization says he does, then I want to see if he can translate that into success. Maybe five starts is enough, but even if he fails he can be cut like any other non-drafted rookie.
I think both of these guys have flashed enough ability, surrounded by a lack of talent, that they deserve another season before the judge is out. I don’t think the Raiders need to draft a Quarterback in the top rounds. They have already spent giving these guys a season of experience. It is time to give them an off-season for progression, and hopefully they can actually be set up for success.
I will agree that there is a great possibility neither of these guys are the answer. I do think there needs to be more QB competition next season. I just don’t think it should come from the first or 2nd round of the draft. I prefer for the team to sign a veteran free agent, or draft a developmental project not named Tyler Wilson. Either way, Pryor and McGloin can be cut after training camp, but I think they deserve another opportunity to improve in camp.