While it remains to be seen if the NFL Draft will be business as usual this year, it will definitely happen at some point. The Las Vegas Raiders will be one of the most interesting teams to watch as they’re armed with two first-round picks and a potential need at quarterback. It’s highly unlikely Jon Gruden banks on a rookie to lead his offense in 2020, but according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, there are a couple of quarterbacks the team really likes:
Speaking of the draft, there is growing buzz that the Raiders might draft a quarterback with their second first-round pick at No. 19. Utah State’s Jordan Love is a possibility if the consensus fourth-best QB falls to No. 19, or the team could trade down from 19 and grab Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts, whom the team is very high on.
Either would come in behind Derek Carr, assuming he is still the quarterback after the free-agency period.
If the Raiders draft Jordan Love, they then have their own version of Patrick Mahomes. Whether or not he actually lives up to those expectations won’t be known for a couple of years. If they target Jalen Hurts, he could be had later in the draft, so the investment isn’t as big. His ceiling isn’t as high as Love’s, but he could still develop into a good starter.
Where is Love Predicted to Go in the Draft?
In Love’s case, it’s almost a certainty he’s going to get selected in the first round. There are too many quarterback-needy teams that are going to fall in love with his potential. Now, the big question is if he’ll be available when the Raiders select at 19. That seems unlikely. CBS Sports’ mock draft has him taken off the board at 13 by the Indianapolis Colts.
In NFL.com’s mock draft by Charles Davis, Love is selected at number five by the Miami Dolphins. He’s been a big riser, so it’s seeming increasingly unlikely he’ll make it past the top 15. If the Raiders want him, they’re going to have to hope he’s available at number 12 because he’s probably not falling to 19. Teams just saw the Kansas City Chiefs win a Super Bowl with Patrick Mahomes. If there’s a chance Love is even close to as good as him, he’s going to get drafted high.
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Will Hurts Make It to the 3rd Round?
After the college season wrapped up, it looked like Jalen Hurts had fallen to as late as the fourth round as a prospect. However, he was very impressive at the NFL Combine. He showed off great speed for a quarterback and a strong football IQ. He reportedly had a really good meeting with the Raiders and he’s gone on record to say that he had a “connection” with Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden.
Thanks to his impressive showing, he could be a big riser in the draft. It seems unlikely that he makes it past the third round at this point. CBS Sports has Hurts getting taken by the Raiders with the 91st pick. Las Vegas would be gitty if they got Hurts that late in the draft. While it’s very possible he does fall that far, he could easily rise to the second or early third round. Don’t be surprised if the Raiders try to get into the second round to ensure they don’t miss out on Hurts.