Before the Raiders drafted quarterback Derek Carr in the 2014 NFL Draft, the team’s starting quarterback position was filled by washed up veterans, average journeymen or bad prospects. After Rich Gannon retired in 2004, the Raiders had a helluva a time trying to find his replacement. Since 2000, the team has had 19 different starting quarterbacks and a great majority have failed. The team has seen some solid seasons of quarterback play, but nothing was consistent before Derek Carr was brought on. Below we’re going to rank every quarterback that has started for the Raiders from worst to best since 2000.
The Less Than 5 Starts Crowd
Over the years, starters are bound to get injured and backups will get some reps. These guys are players that saw limited time as starters for the Raiders because of injuries.
Kyle Boller (1 Start) – A first-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2003, Kyle Boller never lived up to his expectations. After mediocre stints with the Ravens and St. Louis Rams, Boller made his way to Oakland to serve as a backup. However, when Jason Campbell got injured in 2011, Boller started one game and threw three interceptions in one half of play. This led to the Raiders putting in the recently traded for Carson Palmer and Boller was gone after the season
Stats as a Raider: 186 passing yards, 0 passing touchdowns, 3 interceptions
Marques Tuiasosopo (2 Starts) – The former second-round pick by the Raiders was another quarterback that didn’t live up to their draft position. That being said, he was a long time backup for the Raiders and only ever suited up in the silver and black across six seasons.
Stats as a Raider: 554 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions
Charlie Frye (3 Starts) – Another journeyman quarterback that spent some time in Oakland, Charlie Frye saw his time as a starter during the JaMarcus Russell circus. In Frye’s defense, no quarterback probably would’ve succeeded in that atmosphere. Frye only called Oakland home for one season.
Stats as a Raider: 581 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 4 interceptions
Matt Flynn (1 Start) – As a backup for the Green Bay Packers, Matt Flynn put a couple of huge games together while Aaron Rodgers was injured. He turned that brief success into a decent contract for the Seattle Seahawks but flopped. He was eventually traded to the Raiders where he only made one unmemorable start. He was demoted and let go.
Stats as a Raider: 246 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 interception
EJ Manuel (1 Start) – Similar to Boller and Tuiasosopo, EJ Manuel did not live up to expectations as a high draft pick for the Buffalo Bills. Manuel played decently in relief of Derek Carr for one start as Raider but hasn’t found himself on an NFL roster since 2017.
Stats as a Raider: 265 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 interception
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14. JaMarcus Russell (25 Starts)
What else can be said about one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history? The Raiders made JaMarcus Russell the number one overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft ahead of players like Calvin Johnson and Adrian Peterson. Out of college, Russell looked like a star in the making. He had a cannon for an arm and put up big numbers at LSU. The problem is, Russell wasn’t a hard worker whatsoever. Once he got paid, he stopped putting in the work. This led to him falling flat on his face as a member of the Raiders. He only lasted three seasons in Oakland before the team cut him loose and nobody has given him a chance since.
Stats as a Raider: 4,803 passing yards, 18 passing touchdowns, 23 interceptions
13. Andrew Walter (9 Starts)
It’s almost comical to think that there were those that thought Andrew Walter was going to be a steal for the Raiders. Obviously, hindsight is 20-20 and anybody with eyes will tell you that Walter was a complete failure in the NFL. Walter put up really big numbers while at Arizona State so it makes sense why the Raiders gave him a chance. However, the fact that he even got to start nine games is surprising. His interception to touchdown ratio is even worse than Russell’s.
Stats as a Raider: 1,919 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, 16 interceptions
12. Rick Mirer (8 Starts)
Mirer got a fair shake at earning a starting job in his first few years as a Seattle Seahawk. Unfortunately, he never was more than a below average quarterback. Mirer bounced around the league during his eight years in the NFL, lastly playing for the Raiders. He saw time as a starter when Rich Gannon got hurt and didn’t make much of the opportunity. He retired after his only season in Oakland.
Stats as a Raider: 1,267 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 5 interceptions
11. Terrelle Pryor (10 Starts)
There was a brief time when the Raiders were excited about Terrelle Pryor as a prospect. Al Davis used a third-round pick to get him in the supplemental draft. Pryor was a helluva an athlete but had some serious downsides as a passer. He got several chances to prove he could play quarterback but ultimately decided to make a position change to wide receiver when he left Oakland. He has seen brief success as a receiver but hasn’t made a consistent impact for any team.
Stats as a Raider: 1,953 passing yards, 9 passing touchdowns, 12 interceptions
10. Aaron Brooks (8 Starts)
Unlike most of the players listed so far, Brooks was actually very successful before he joined the Raiders. He put a nice career together as the starting quarterback for the New Orleans Saints and was definitely on the downside of his career when he moved to Oakland. If we were ranking Saints quarterbacks, he’d be much higher on the list. However, he was mediocre in his brief time in the silver and black and was gone after one season.
Stats as a Raider: 1,105 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 8 interceptions
9. Josh McCown (9 Starts)
Another career journeyman that called Oakland home for a brief time, McCown put together one huge game for the Raiders and didn’t really do much else after. He put up 313 passing yards and threw two touchdowns against the Denver Broncos in week one of the 2007 season and never did much after that. He eventually lost the starting job and moved on from Oakland after just one season.
Stats as a Raider: 1,151 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions
8. Daunte Culpepper (6 Starts)
Similar to Brooks, Culpepper had great success in the NFL before joining the Raiders. As a Minnesota Viking, Culpepper was a three-time pro bowler and put up really big numbers. Unfortunately, he was bitten by the injury bug and was never the same. The Raiders took a chance on him in 2007 and while not terrible, he never was able to reach the same levels he did in Minnesota.
Stats as a Raider: 1,331 passing yards, 5 passing touchdowns, 5 interceptions
7. Matt McGloin (7 Starts)
A surprisingly decent player, Matt McGloin was mainly a backup during his four years in Oakland. While he didn’t put up huge numbers in his seven starts, he threw as many touchdowns as he did interception, which is better than most of the other quarterbacks previously listed. McGloin hasn’t seen any playing time since he left Oakland, but he’s still just 29 years old so maybe he’ll still get another shot to see the field. Unfortunately for McGloin, he could’ve started in a playoff game after Derek Carr was injured in 2016, but he also got injured and didn’t get the chance.
Stats as a Raider: 1,868 passing yards, 11 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions
6. Bruce Gradkowski (8 Starts)
Yet another journeyman quarterback, Bruce Gradkowski was a fun player to watch. He was a small quarterback but put together some memorable performances for the Raiders. Though he was never the consistent starter (the team hadn’t had many before Carr), he was a good backup and had a pretty long NFL career considering he was never found a long term home. He spent two seasons in Oakland.
Stats as a Raider: 2,006 passing yards, 11 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions
5. Kerry Collins (28 Starts)
Okay, now we’re getting to the quarterbacks that saw real playing time for the Raiders. It’s easy to forget that Kerry Collins was actually a good quarterback at a time because his career was so long. He didn’t retire until the age of 38. The two-time pro bowler also led that New York Giants to a super bowl appearance in the 2000 season. While he wasn’t as effective during his time in Oakland, he still put up pretty decent numbers. Collins had to follow Rich Gannon, which was no easy task. He did the best he could considering how much turmoil the franchise was going through at the time.
Stats as a Raider: 7,254 passing yards, 41 passing touchdowns, 32 interceptions
4. Jason Campbell (18 Starts)
Oh, what could’ve been had Jason Campbell not gotten hurt. In 2011, Campbell led the Raiders to a 4-2 start and the team looked poised to finally end their playoff drought. Unfortunately, Campbell hurt his collar bone and was done for the year. The Raiders traded the kitchen sink for Carson Palmer, but he was rusty and the team failed to make the playoffs again. Campbell wasn’t the best quarterback in Raider history, but he put together some really solid starts and wasn’t a big turnover machine.
Stats as a Raider: 3,557 passing yards, 19 passing touchdowns, 12 interceptions
3. Carson Palmer (24 Starts)
The Carson Palmer era in Oakland certainly got off to an interesting start. Palmer didn’t want to be in Cincinnati anymore so he retired while he was young. The Bengals were stubborn and refused to trade him. That was until then head coach Hue Jackson traded a first and second-round draft pick to acquire him. Palmer’s first game in Oakland was rocky, to say the least as he threw three interceptions in relief of Kyle Boller. Once Palmer got a better grasp of the offense, he played much better and almost led the team to the playoffs, but fell just short in the last game of the season. A new general manager and head coach were brought in the next season. Palmer put up good numbers, but the team wasn’t very good. Palmer said that if the Raiders retained Hue Jackson for one more season, they would’ve finally gotten back to the playoffs. Palmer was traded away to the Cardinals and played extremely well there. While the Palmer trade was definitely a mistake in hindsight, it didn’t have as much to do with Palmer’s performance as it did with the lack of long term plans.
Stats as a Raider: 6,771 passing yards, 35 passing touchdowns, 30 interceptions
2. Derek Carr (78 Starts)
It was very difficult to pick between Derek Carr and the number one choice, but the top guy was a proven winner and Carr still needs to prove that he can win. In terms of numbers, Carr may go down as the most prolific quarterback in Raiders history. In franchise history, he’s second all-time in passing yards and third in passing touchdowns. He’ll probably take the top spot for both of those stats before it’s all said and done. Carr is an incredibly talented passer who hasn’t always been surrounded by the most talent. Now that he has better players around him, Carr could cement himself as the best Raider quarterback of the century. If he brings another Lombardi trophy to Oakland/Las Vegas, he could go down as the best Raider quarterback in franchise history.
Stats as a Raider: 18,739 passing yards, 122 passing touchdowns, 54 interceptions
1. Rich Gannon (74 Starts)
In this case, the journeyman quarterback turned out a be a star for the Raiders. The Raiders may have been Rich Gannon’s fourth team, but he is a Raider through and through. What sets Gannon above everybody else is that he was able to bring the Raiders to the Super Bowl. No, he didn’t win, but making it to the game is a feat in and of itself. The 2002 MVP winner was a consistent powerhouse for the Raiders and his injury caused the downfall of the silver and black for many years after. They didn’t make the playoffs from 2002-2015. His impact is what makes him the best Raider quarterback of the 2000s.
Stats as a Raider: 17,585 passing yards, 114 passing touchdowns, 50 interceptions