Based on what the Las Vegas Raiders have been saying, it sounds like there’s a good chance they roll with Derek Carr once again in 2020. There’s always the Tom Brady possibility or other veterans, but there aren’t any clear cut options who are better than Carr on the open market. If the team isn’t completely sold on their current quarterback position, they could look to the NFL Draft.
There is a litany of very interesting prospects in the current class, but with the Raiders not picking until number 12 in the first round, their options become limited. According to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, the team has zeroed in on two guys:
On the college front, Joe Burrow is going first in the draft to the Bengals and it doesn’t seem like Jon Gruden is high enough on Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert to consider trading up from No. 12 to get them. That leaves Utah State’s Jordan Love as an option at Nos. 12 or 19 (the team’s other first-round pick) or waiting until the third round to select Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts.
Love has been the name most commonly tied to the Raiders as he could be the team’s version of Patrick Mahomes. Hurts provides an interesting option because the team could likely get him in the third round and that’s a lot less likely to ruffle Carr’s feathers if he does end up the starter in 2020.
Mike Mayock Has ‘Reservations’ About Love
Despite the Mahomes comparison that is often mentioned when talking about Love, he didn’t have nearly as strong of a college career. He’s probably got the highest ceiling of any prospect, but Raiders general manager Mike Mayock isn’t completely sold on him, according to Tafur.
“He’s a big, strong kid with a big arm,” Mayock said Tuesday. “He’s athletic. He was a basketball player — you can see that in his movement skills. So the upside of the kid is really cool. I think the caution, or the downside, would be that he had a good junior year but his senior year wasn’t as good.
“He throws a lot of interceptions, and he is very raw in terms of what he is getting from the sideline. He is reading off his wrist guard. So, like a lot of college players, he has a long way to go. And you have to factor that into what his ultimate value is.”
Love likely needs to sit for a while before he’s truly ready to become a solid starter in the NFL. If the Raiders take him in the first-round, Carr isn’t going to be too happy about “mentoring” him. That would probably mean Las Vegas would need to add a different veteran who would be willing to fill that role.
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Raiders Had Good Meeting With Hurts
On the other hand, drafting Jalen Hurts in the third-round wouldn’t be that risky and Carr probably wouldn’t be too upset about it. Hurts needs more development than Love and would happily sit behind Carr for a year or two. Plus, Tafur wrote that the Raiders may have interest:
Hurts, meanwhile, had a very good meeting with the Raiders, who are intrigued by his upside and would bring in Hurts as a developmental backup behind Carr if they went that route.
Love is definitely a more exciting prospect, but Hurts makes a lot of sense as a developmental project. His athletism would give Jon Gruden the opportunity to get really creative and possibly use him the way the New Orleans Saints use Taysom Hill. If the team feels like Carr can get them to the playoffs in 2020, but aren’t sold on his long term upside, drafting Hurts would be the best play they could make.