Outside of the addition of Marcus Mariota, the Las Vegas Raiders didn’t make the splash at quarterback that many were expecting. Barring a surprising move, Derek Carr should be the starter for the team in 2020. However, that doesn’t mean he’s safe for the foreseeable future.
There’s still the draft on the way and while it’s incredibly unlikely Jon Gruden gives a rookie the keys to his offense, Carr’s future could be sealed if the Raiders take a quarterback early. With two first-round picks this year, Las Vegas could easily add a quarterback with a ton upside early in the draft. The most common name linked to the Raiders is Jordan Love, who almost certainly will be taken in the top 20 picks. However, general manager Mike Mayock may not be completely sold on him and could like the idea of getting Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts in the third round, according to The Atheltic’s Vic Tafur:
I think Mike Mayock may have been telling the truth after all when he talked about Love at the combine and didn’t seem very high on him because of all the interceptions in college. I can’t see the Raiders taking Love in the first round. They do really like Hurts, but the Marcus Mariota signing allows them not to force anything. If Hurts is there in the third round, I think they take him.
Will Hurts Fall to the Third Round?
Before the Combine, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Hurts would fall to the late third round and possibly go even later. However, he was very impressive. He showed off strong football IQ and elite athletism. Thanks to that showing, there’s a real shot he’s moved up draft boards and could get taken as early as the second round.
When teams fall in love with quarterbacks, they do crazy things. It’s not even impossible to think Hurts weasels his way into the first round. It’s very hard to know with quarterbacks because they could slide further than anybody expected, but they could also go a lot higher. If the Raiders really want Hurts, they may need to trade up into the second round to ensure they don’t miss out on him.
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Why Mayock Isn’t Sold on Love
Some fans will be disappointed if the Raiders skip on Love. He has the highest ceiling out of any of the quarterbacks in the draft and has been compared to Patrick Mahomes. There isn’t a single Raider fan who wouldn’t give up Derek Carr for Mahomes. That said, calling Love the next Mahomes is a bit of stretch and Mike Mayock has pointed out Love’s flaws in the past.
“He throws a lot of interceptions, and he is very raw in terms of what he is getting from the sideline,” Mayock said on during the Combine. “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 is certainly an exciting talent, but he does have red flags. If the Raiders would’ve landed Tom Brady, then drafting Love in the first round would’ve been a great call. However, they have a young quarterback who they appear relatively confident in. Love to the Raiders seems like a pipe dream at this point.