Don’t Sleep on Antonio Smith or Tarrell Brown

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Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie capped off the First week of Free Agency by signing two under the radar Free Agents Tarrell Brown and Antonio Smith. Although neither have the name recognition of Justin Tuck or LaMarr Woodley both could have just a big of an impact on the Raiders Defense.

Brown Comes from just across the Bay as a former 49er. Last season he did not have his best effort as he did not record an interception in 10 starts. However the two seasons before he started every game and recorded a combined 6 interceptions. Playing with the 49ers, Brown has the playoff experience which Raiders young secondary members such as DJ Hayden can learn from. 

Brown may not be a pro-bowler but he has a lot of value as a starter or coveraging the slot. He is an above average tackler and his one of Pro Football Focus’ highly graded corner. He should be able to play the man or zone coverages required of Tarver’s scheme. Best part about this deal is the deal is only one year and worth $3.5 million, meaning their is no long term commitment for either side. 

As for Smith, the former Texan and self-proclaimed ninja brings the defensive line some more versatility. With the Texans he was primarily used as a defensive end lined up in the 5 technique. With the Raiders he will probably be utilized in those sets on some of the versatile schemes utilized by the Raiders. The Pass Rusher will also line-up as a pass rusher in the 3-technique.

Sure Smith is approaching 33 years of age, but he played well for the Texans recording 5 of his 41 career sacks. He is also stout against the run and could be critical in helping Stacey McGee develop along the Raiders Defensive Line rotation. Smith will be a critical element of keeping the defensive line fresh and also being able to mix up fronts and stunts for oppossing offensive lines.

Overall, neither of these guys have much household recognition. Fortunately they continue McKenzie’s trend of adding high leadership and work-ethic players to aid the development of our struggling organization. It is not going to happen overnight so having veterans capable of playing well young players develop is critical. Brown and Smith can both play at a high level and will be critical elements of the defensive rotation regardless of who else is brought in via free agency or draft. The best part about both of these signings is they are relatively cheap and offer low risk to the franchise.

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Tuck and Woodley’s meaning for Raiders

Woodley signs with Raiders via Raiders.com

Just around twelve hours ago, Raidernation was ready to jump ship when the Rodger Saffold deal was botched. Apparently, depending on whose side you believe, Saffold had a previous shoulder injury that caused him to fail the Raiders physical and voiding the contract.

Fast Forward a few hours, and Raider Fans were excited to hear the team signing Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley to two year contracts. Sure Woodley and Tuck are not the marquee players they once were a few seasons ago, but the signings are still significant boosts for the squad.

Veteran Leadership

Tuck and Woodley both come from two other storied franchises in the Steelers and Giants. Both hoisted the Lombardi trophy in their tenure with their former teams. Championship pedigrees are not cheap in this league and a team that has done a lot of losing needs to learn how to win, and these guys know how. As Fans we seen the Impact Woodson made when he came in purely from a leadership perspective, and these guys can do the same

Pass Rush
Between the two of these guys, The Raiders added over 100 career sacks to a struggling front four.Woodley
is a versatile rusher capable of standing up or putting his hand in the ground. Tuck is capable of rushing from the end or 3 technique. That versatility should be utilized by the Raiders. D-Coordinator Tarver should be stoked to have two new toys.

Affordability
Raiders got Tuck and Woodley for what it would have cost to franchise Lamarr Houston. Not to mention, the two year deals do not hurt the team in the long run. Around a 6 million dollar salary for these guys is a good deal considering they have more sacks then Houston.

Recruitement
These Two guys are about as respectable as you can be in the league. If they can buy into Reggie’s plan then I am sure they can get other Veteran Defensive Players to buy into what the Raiders are selling. So far free agency has proven Raiders are going to have to offer more then just playing time and money. Having Woodley’s and Tuck’s influence should help other free agents buy into the francsise.

Reggies Plan
These two moves signify Reggie’s plan of patience and not over spending. Fans lost beloved Houston and Veldheer and the Raiders needed to provide some hope for its fans. The Saffold drama can now be put behind us, and fans can buy into the big picture again. Reggie is not going to overspend or lock up players, he wants to build through the draft. Tuck and Woodley are the servicable stop-gap players for fans to be excited about, but they also could be the mentors to Raiders young players. Moreover, these are signings the Raiders can build on as they continue Free Agency and into the Draft.

Something To Prove
I mean really, When was the last time Raider Fans actually had something Legit to be excited about? Reggie McKenzie actually has something to prove to the fanbase which pays his pay check. Same could be said for Tuck and Woodley. Both were intricate pieces of their former franchises, yet were not coveted by their former teams. As they enter their 30’s(Woodley 29 Tuck 31) both players can prove they still have plenty to offer a team. Woodson dispelled the myth that 30 year old players can’t impact games, and Woodley/Tuck will look to do the same.

Sure Woodley and Tuck are not exactly the marquee names anymore. However that is no reason for Raidernation to not be excited, as they are better then anyone else currently on the roster. Sure the Raiders have a lot more to do in Free Agency and they have a huge draft coming up in May, but signing Woodley and Tuck is a step in the right direction.Singularly, neither is the kind of pass rusher to command double teams anymore, but paired offensive QBs have something to fear for the first time in a while.

] Tuck signs with Raiders [\caption]

The Raiders Need Sammy Watkins

With a team desolated of playmakers and desperate for an identity, the Raiders have an oppurtunity to select Clemson Wide Out Sammy Watkins whom could change all of that presuming he is available with the #5 draft pick.

I have been an advocate for the Raiders selecting Watkins, however, earlier I broke down the deep recieving corps in this draft class. Any number of those guys could provide value to the Raiders, which would warrant a pass on Watkins and opting for a reciever in later rounds.

Since Watkins’ pro-day a few days ago, my stance has changed. The Raiders need Watkins to provide his explosive playmaking ability which could be the identity for the team. In his pro-day Watkins proved he was the best reciever in the class once again. Some even said it was one of the best pro-day workouts ever.

NFL Network Draft Guru Mike Mayock said Watkins is one of the best recievers he has analyzed in over 10 years. That is a great compliment. He very well may end up as one of the best players in this entire draft class.

As Raider fans, we still blame the organization for passing on Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson when there was an oppurtunity to draft either in their respective drafts.

Watkins showcased his capabilities in the Orange Bowl, where he put up 16 catches, with two TDs and over 200 yards against Ohio State. At Clemson he showcased his ability to line-up inside or outside. His speed was often showcased in the open field and his agility and accelartion displayed with a diverse route tree. Not only that, but has even showed a willing ness to block combined with a swagger the Raiders are looking for.

At the Combine, Watkins told NFL teams in interviews that he loves to dominate defenses. Denarius Moore could really learn from that midset. Leading up to the combine, Watkins hyped fans up by saying he would run a record setting time. His 4.43 official team underwhelmed but his game tape indicates plenty of speed for seperation at the next level. Watkin’s swagger and confidence are something the Raiders have been void of for years.

He elected to sit on his 40 time at the pro-day. Instead, Watkins made an impression with his route running, soft hands, and accelartion just like he did on tape and at the combine.

From a purely football perspective, Watkins can impact games after the catch or going deep. He can run screens, end arounds, and has plenty of value as a returner. Offensive Coordinator Greg Olsen could utilize Watkins and build the team’s offense around Watkins. For the first time in a long time, The Raiders could have an offensive identity with Watkins ability to change games(The Way Mcfadden was suppossed). He can line up in the slot and free up space for Moore or Rivera. He is fast enough to stretch the field for Streater and Holmes. Watkin’s hands are reliable enough for whoever trots out at QB for the Raiders. Neither is he afraid to open up wholes for a Raider running back.

The biggest knock on Watkins is he does not do anything spectacular. listed under 6’2 he does not very impressive size, nor is his 40 time spectacular, but his ability to impact games is surely spectacular. He is not the Big Fitzgerald, Megatron, or Julio jones. However, he is not the liability that Darius Heyward-Bey was either.

Watkins had the consistence in college that DHB did not out of Maryland, and Watkins played with another NFL quality reciver (Imagine if he didn’t?). DHB was suppossed to be the number one reciever for years to come, but has shown he is only a #3 reciever on his best day. Therefore, fans and management should not be weary of selecting a reciever high in the draft even if their is enough depth in the draft. The Raiders have yet to recover from Tim Brown days of having a true number one reciver. Selecting Watkins will allow Moore and Streater to thrive in the complimentary roles they are suited for.

The Raiders can not afford to let history repeat itself. Selecting Watkins makes too much sense for the Raiders. Watkins is one of the best prospects in the entire draft, he fills a team need, has a high ceiling, has swagger, and can impact games. This draft is too important for the Raiders to miss on, and Watkins has been labeled the can not miss player in the draft.

Defensive Players like Clowney and Mack come around once in a while too. But with Watkins you are talking about a guy who can legitimately score anytime he touches the ball, anywhere on the field. That is a value you don’t pass on as their will be other defensive prospects in FA and in later rounds.

He is the impact player Reggie Mckenzie and Dennis Allen are looking for, and the identity Mark Davis is looking for. It is becoming more evident the Raiders are not going to find that guy in Free agency. All the team needs to do is make the selection at #5 and let this guy dominate on sundays.

If he can make Tahj Boyd shine in college, surely he can do the same for any of the Raiders QBs. The Raiders do not need to draft a quarterback at the top of the draft, as they will have to wait for him to develop. Watkins is pro-ready and is the Nasty, Fast, and explosive player whom could be the face of the franchise for years to come. As an organization desperate to give their city and fanbase some hope of winning, Sammy Watkins has to be the pick when the may 2nd draft roles around.

Why Terrelle Pryor should not be written-off

Via Google Images, Pryor Scrambles away from Bears defender

The buzz around the Raiders is that the 2014 starting quarterback may not be on the roster. The Raiders did not do anything to dispell the myth at the combine, as they were interested in many of the top picks. Hence there are many reports indicating the Raiders are shopping Terrelle Pryor for a late draft pick.  Others suggest he may be cut if the Raiders can not find value for him on the trade block. Here are some of the arguments being made, as to why Pryor has played his last down for the Raiders.

The Raiders have not seen enough development in 3 years.

Why Does Pryor deserve another shot with the organization responsible for drafting him three years ago? Yes, the Raiders know what they have in Pryor, but the truth is he is still learning to play the position. He made a huge jump from his second season to the third, and I Pryor’s work ethic could be displayed this season as well.

Dennis Allen and Pryor don’t seem to get along.

Sure their were media reported drama here and there.Both sides have remained professional enough to not burn the bridge completely.The truth is, Pryor and Allen are both professionals and competitors wanting to win. I think the two men can put aside whatever charachter clashes they have to win ball games. The fact is, this is bigger than Dennis Allen. Mark Davis has his sights on a new stadium but more importantly winning. If Pryor gives them the best shot at that, then Mark should channel his inner Al and keep Pryor on Scholarship.

Pryor does not fit the Raiders scheme.

Maybe the Raiders do favor a quarterback with more traditional traits. Yet, mobile quarterbacks are the new way of the world. Pryor gives them an element to their offense that McGloin does not. His electric speed and size possess the playmaking ability the Raiders are desperate for. Take a look at the draft, even the NFL’s newest prospects do not posess the type of god given athletecism Pryor has.

Raiders have interested in Free Agent and Rookie QBs

This is fine. The Raiders have not had a franchise QB in years, so they should be exploring every option to fill their void. Pryor should be included as one of those options. He shouldn’t be written off even before training camp. He has enough potential and experience to atleast warrant a back up oppurtunity. Worst case scenario the Raiders could cut him after Training Camp, IF and only IF someone else beats him out.

Pryor is not an ideal backup

The argument here is teams want a backup similar to their starter so their is not two different offenses installed. My take is, don’t you want a Backup QB who can win games if your starter comes out? Pryor has proven his ability to impact games and that is the kind of quarterback I want if my starter comes out. Sure he makes mistakes, and he is not perfect, but he doesn’t need to be if he is a backup. Not to mention, after backing-up McGloin, Pryor said all the right things. He did not cause a distraction and handled the matter like a professional. Moreover, with the amount of mobile QBS in the league the Raiders need one of their own to give the Defense an honestly look week to week. How is it better to have a Matt McGloin as a back-up? Sure Allen likes McGloin better than Pryor, but does that mean he is a better back-up than Pryor. If McGloin is better then let him prove it camp.

It is best for both parties to move forward.

Really? How is it better if Pryor goes and plays well for another team? I guess most people are operating under the assumption that Pryor won’t play well on another team. I am not so sure on that, the jury is still out as the young man tries to improve his mechanics this offseason. Additionally,  I am sure Pryor wants the chance to bring wins to a franchise that drafted him and a fanbase that supported him. Pryor wants to be a starter, and the Raiders need a starter; that should atleast be enough mutual interest to warrant a competition.

In closing, the Raiders need a lot of help and should be exploring every option to make their team better. Pryor should not be written off as an option for this team moving forward. At least give Pryor another offseason of growth before writing him off as a Quarterback. The Raiders should allow him to compete with McGloin and any other options at Qb via the Draft or Free Agency. What is the worst that could happen? Pryor competes and wins the starting job, which forces Allen to play him, Again?

Snoop Dogg thinks the Raiders should keep Terrelle Pryor, while Vic Tafur, Raiders Beat writer thinks the team is likely done with Pryor. Where do you fall? Vote on the Poll

Raiders should have eyes on Reciever in 14′ Draft

Watching the AFC Playoffs, and watching 3 division rivals play for a Superbowl is rough. As I watch the Broncos, Chargers, and Chiefs I realize how undermatched the Raiders really were. The Raiders offense lacked the playmakers to compete against those teams. The Chargers have Antonio Gates and Eddie Royal, The Broncos have Demarius Thomas, Wes Walker, and Knowshown Moreno, and The Chiefs have Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe.
For the Raiders, recievers Denarius Moore and Rod Streater flashed potential, but they still lack the ability to consistently dominate a game. The combination of Raiders Recievers were mediocre at best. Streater caught 900 yards, Moore caught 600 despite injuries, and Holmes caught 400 towards the end of the season.

Bottom Line: Regardless of who the Raiders have at Quarterback, The Raiders need an explosive gamechanger around him. The Raiders need to adress the receiver position sometime between rounds 1-3 of the draft. Young Tighte Ends Rivera and Kasa flashed potentional, but could also benefit from an outside threat who can be relied on for big 3rd down catches. Here is my anaylsis of this draft classes’ recievers. While Sammy Watkins seems to be the conseus #1 reciever, this is still a very deep draft class of pass catchers. If they miss out on Watkins the Raiders can still get quality later in the draft.

1. Sammy Watkins-Clemson

Sammy Watkins is only 6-1. He isn’t the massive target that AJ Green or Julio Jones were. Watkins can change the game. He has the versatility to play the outside or inside position. His effortless acceleration makes crisp routes, and big plays down the field. He can take the ball anytime he touches it rather it is a return, screen, or run play. Besides his advance route tree I think Watkins possess a lot of maturity unlike Moore. I think he is the most NFL polished reciever in this draft and who ever the Raiders have at QB will be better of this guy. Even the most pessimistic Raider fan can not argue him being drafted at 5, but ideally the Raiders would love to grab him and another draft pick via trading down in the first.

2. Mike Evans-Texas A &M

Mike Evans is a monster 6-5 posession style reciever. He has the size Reggie Mckenzie likes for his west coast offense. Evans has been compared to Vincent Jackson, but he is still raw. He makes big plays, but there are stretches when he is ineffective. Whoever drafts Evans will have to allow him develop his route running skills. Some Team will probably fall in love with Evans for the middle-late first round, so it is unlikely he will be a Raider. I think the Raiders could do better adding one of the more polished receiving targets

3. Marques Lee -USC

Marques Lee was probably one of the top receiving targets in last years draft. He won the Biletnikoff award as a junior, but followed it up with a disappointing senior year. Lee has a good combination of size and speed, and showcased that with 118 yds & 2 tds in his last game as a Trojan. His production and route running should translate to the next level. The Raiders could be very happy if he is on the board when they select in the 2nd round.

4. Allen Robinson

At 6’2, 211 lbs. Allen Robinson can grab balls out of the air. From Penn state, the reciever has a continuity with Matt McGloin. He had back to back 1,000 yds receiving, however, the knock on him is he doesn’t do anything spectacular and he has had some drops. The Raiders will have a tough decision between him and Lee in the 2nd, but Robinson will be considered.

5. Brandin Cooks- Oregon St.

128 receptions for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns are Cooks stats in 2013, as he was named the nations best reciever. He draws some comparisons to Tayvon Austin because he is undersized. At 5’11 186 Cooks is undersized, but he is also the biggest threat in the open field. If he falls to the 3rd round he could be an absolute steal. His speed and play-making ability could command attention from Streater, Holmes, and Moore. Cooks would add another dimension to the Raiders offense, so I could even accept the Raiders drafting him in the 2nd.

6. Davante Adams- Fresno State

I don’t care what anyone says, there is something about catching 24 touchdown passes in a season. Davante Adams did that in 2013. Yes he did it with an NFL QB and a Down-field system. However, Adams is an explosive down-field threat. His speed and size allow him to make plays on the ball. He could go anywhere between the late first and early third round. The Raiders need someone who has a nose for the end-zone. Adams is a local head and would be the down-field threat Raiders fans would love.

7. Kelvin Benjamin- Florida State

Benjamin is sure to have someone fall in love with him. He is a 6’5 reciever with enough speed to get down the field. He is coming off a national championship, which is a benefit of playing with a heisman winner. He could be as low as Mike Williams or as High as Vincent Jackson. Someone may reach for him in the 1st rd, but he should probably have enough upside to be worth a 2nd rd pick.

8. Jordan Matthews- Vanderbilt

He only played in the toughest college football conference, but Matthews might be a sleeper pick. At 6’3 he can make plays on the ball, and drops are uncommon for Matthews. He has a 2nd round grade according to CBSSPORTS.com and he could fall to the early 3rd for the Raiders.

9. Odell Beckham Jr. – LSU

Beckham won an award for having the most yards in all of football. He is raw, but his kick returning ability should have him climb up draft boards. At 5’11 205LBs he doesn’t have elite size, but his hands and route running ability are underrated. The Raiders desperately need a game-changer in the return game, and someone to stretch the field. Beckham could be that answer in the 3rd, as he averaged 19 yds a reception last season.

10. Jared Abbrederis – Wisconsin

Despite shaky quarterback play he had a 78 reception season in 2013.  At 6’1 he doesn’t have great size or jump off the tape, which will probably hurt his status compared to others in the draft. He does make plays and is one of the most underrated prospects according to SI.com. He can make plays and if the Raiders should take him in the 3rd or 4th rd.

Best of the Rest:

Paul Richardson- Colorado

Bruce Ellington- South Carolina

Donte Moncrief- Ole Miss

Mike Davis- Texas

Jarvis Landry- LSU

Martavis Bradley- Clemson

Cody Latimore- Indiana

The Result: I am old-school, I like my Raiders recievers fast and able to stretch the field. I can live with adding a dynamic play maker at #5 by drafting Watkins. However, if they select a defensive player with #5 then there are plenty of options in the 2nd round. Lee and Robinson are probably the best players available if they are available at the top of the second. I like Lee despite the track record of USC receivers, he has enough production and upside to be the raiders #1. Cooks or Adams could also be considered at the top of the second round because of their dynamic play-making ability. I like the dimensions either of those guys add as a compliment to the Raiders Receivers Corps. If the Raiders do decide to hold out until the 3rd round than Cooks or Adams should be the no brainer pick if either are available. Outside of that, Beckham could also be a great value selection in the 3rd round because of his special teams ability. Some of the other receivers are bound to fall and the Raiders have other needs, hence they may just wait until the 3rd round and select the best available. My Personal favorite is Adams. Adams is a local out of Fresno State, and you can not teach 24 tds. I don’t care what anyone says, the Raiders need someone who has a nose for the endzone. He might be raw, but I wouldn’t mind the Raiders selecting a defensive player #5 and getting Adams in the 2nd rd.

 

Images via Google Images

First Round: Qb isn’t the answer

I think Mock Drafts at this point are stupid. The Draft Order is not set, prospects haven’t declared, free agents haven’t been resigned, and players haven’t been cut. Additionally, a lot of things happen from here to April that separate draft picks. People around the NFL dissect every part of these players, which makes many of them rise and fall.

A Few of the Mock Drafts coming out have had the Raiders selecting a QB in the top 5. I don’t think that is the answer for a team lacking talent throughout the roster. Regardless of who plays QB for the Raiders, they are going to need weapons around them. That starts with an offensive-line that needs depth and more aggression. The Raiders receivers and tight ends have been mediocre and inconsistent at best. The running-backs have been better, but Rashaad Jennings and Darren McFadden might not be on this team. I don’t like the idea of having a young quarterback, RB, and WR. People think the Raiders should draft a QB in the first round usually believe it is time for the Raiders to stop seeking stop-gap QB’s, and  should draft their franchise QB.

It is not that easy to draft a franchise QB. It is rare that a QB immediately comes in and changes the culture. If Dennis Allen is brought back, He and Reggie Mckenzie can not afford for a franchise QB to have growing pains. Their jobs will rely on the success of a 1st round QB’s leadership and success. Neither can Mark Davis afford another losing season if he wants to keep the Raiders in Oakland.

Free Agency:

I think the Raiders should go out and sign or trade for another QB. If Jay Cutler is available, some people think he is the answer, however, the Raiders just traded a gun-slinging QB named Carson Palmer. Not to mention, Jay Cutler is going to be owed lots of money.If Eli Manning becomes available than he probably falls into this same category. Both are upgrades, but are they the answer? Maybe in Al Davis days…

Then there are the backups like Ryan Mallett or Kirk Cousins. I am weary on those solutions because of the Matt Flynn effect. Backup QB’s are Backups for a reason! Mental reps are great, but they don’t equal results and neither of these guys have extensive experience.

There are also the Salvage projects. Maybe the Raiders think they can salvage some  production out of Michael Vick. Maybe they believe Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, or Matt Schaub can benefit from a change of scenery. These guys have competed at a highlevel, and the Raiders don’t have anyone on the roster like that.

Brandan Weeden, Jake Lockert, Jimmy Clausen, Christian Ponder, and Dwayne Gabbert,  have all flashed ability. They are also draft busts, which is why their former teams may decide to go in another direction. Sometimes a new situation can spark new direction for a quarterback. Rich Gannon is an example of that, but there are many others who have failed. The Raiders have gone this route before, but these guys were drafted high for a reason. Maybe one more season can remind people of that.

Then there are the journeymen: Jason Campbell, Luke McCown, Chad Henne, Ryan Firzpaterick, or Chad Henne. These guys days as potential starters are behind them. While they are not franchise guys, they do have starting experience, and could lead a team with good players around them.At any rate, Any of these guys give the Raiders competition at the position to push Pryor, McGloin, or any other quarterback. Maybe with the right coaches and play-makers in place,  they can lead a playoff team. It has been done before, ask Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson.

The Draft:

I am no where qualified to talk on the draft. I haven’t done hours of extensive film research, dissecting these quarterbacks, but here are my thoughts on the QB class based on my reading and observations.

So far, the consensus #1 QB in the draft is Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville. It is hard to find a scenario where the Jaguars and Texans pass on him. Hence, I don’t think the Raiders answer is at the top of the draft. It seems like most of the QB’s in this draft have their strengths and weaknesses, but Bridgewater is the only can’t miss.

After Bridgewater, it seems like Derek Carr is the next guy, but his last name is Carr, and he played at Fresno State. That may be a plus for some fans, however, to me, those are minuses.

Then some people have the electric TAMU Johnny Manziel and others think UCF’s Blake Bortes are shooting up draft boards.  However, I am not sure either of these guys are ready to change a franchise on day 1. These guys could go anywhere in the first or second round. I think they have strengths and potential, but are they Andrew Luck? I’d be presently surprised if they are. Maybe in the 2nd round, but the Raiders have two many needs to take a chance on one of these guys in rd. 1.

The Raiders are better off drafting a value guy in the Late Rounds. Maybe Clemson’s Tahj Boyd on day two, or Miami’s Stephen Morris on day 3. How about a developmental pick like Georgia’s Aaron Murray or LSU’s Zach MettenBerger. Both guys are hurt, but they have had high draft ratings before and maybe a year of seasoning could help them. They would be a great value on day 2 0r 3 of the draft.  San Jose’s David Fales or Alabama’s A.J. McCarron could have as much upside as Bortes, Carr, or Manziel but would be a much better draft value. All of these guys have starting experience and some consistency at a high level, which could translate to the next level.

The Raiders have too many needs to think drafting a QB #1 will change all of their problems. There is enough value in the later rds for the Raiders to take a chance that one of those guys can push a guy on the roster or a guy they bring in. Either way, the Raiders hope the guy they draft will pan out better than Tyler Wilson.

Pryor and McGloin deserve another Off-season

mcg

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.