It’s no secret that Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden loves quarterback. Thanks to that fact, the team has already met with a number of quarterback prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft. Some have suggested that the Raiders could be looking to address the position early, but they could be zeroing in on somebody they could find in the later rounds.
It was reported in early March that the team had a meeting with James Morgan out of Florida International. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle is now reporting that the Raiders are among the teams zeroing in on him:
Since an impressive NFL scouting combine, Morgan has been rising steadily on draft boards.
An NFL area scout based in the Southeast said that Morgan has one of the three strongest arms in the draft and praised him for his intelligence and leadership.
Several NFL teams are closely vetting Morgan, who can’t go on visits or work out privately due to the restrictions put in place during the coronavirus pandemic.
Among the teams doing extra homework on Morgan, according to NFL sources not authorized to speak publicly: his hometown Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins.
Morgan wouldn’t be a candidate to start in the foreseeable future, but clearly, his performance at the Combine piqued the interest of a lot of teams. He’s a very tough player but has a ton of flaws. He’s got a big arm and can make a lot of throws. That said, he needs to work on his accuracy.
Gruden Researching QBs Doesn’t Mean He’s out on Carr
Thanks to his time at ESPN, everybody thinks that Jon Gruden is obsessed with quarterbacks. That is true to an extent, but the notion that he’s willing to give up on Carr in favor of rookie is overexaggerated. Jerry McDonald of The Mercury News recently debunked the notion that Gruden will bring in a young quarterback early in the draft:
Just because Gruden likes to work with young quarterbacks on television doesn’t mean he trusts them with one of the most involved and complex playbooks in an actual game. In 208 games, quarterbacks drafted by Gruden started only 26 times. Eleven of those were by Bruce Gradkowski in 2006, the only rookie quarterback to ever start a game with Gruden as a coach. The rest were from Chris Simms, who didn’t play as a rookie.
Much is made of how complex Gruden’s offense is. The Raiders were in the playoff race until Week 17 last season. The team is clearly close to getting over the hump. Gruden isn’t going to risk all the progress the team has made by drafting a quarterback with one of his first-round picks and thrusting him into a starting job.
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Other QBs Linked to the Raiders
Morgan is far from the first quarterback prospect who has been linked to the Raiders this offseason. The team has reportedly met with Justin Herbert, Jodan Love and Jalen Hurts. Herbert seems the most unlikely out of the bunch as he’ll probably get selected within the top-10 picks. If the Raiders want to go quarterback in the first round, it will probably be Love.
In an ideal world, Hurts would fall to the Raiders in the third round. That way, they wouldn’t need to invest too much into a quarterback who has a ton of upside.