Until Jon Gruden actually uses a first-round pick on a quarterback, it appears the Las Vegas Raiders are destined to be candidates to draft one every year. Last year, they were linked to Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins but didn’t draft either. This year, they’ve been linked to the likes of Justin Herbert and a couple of others.
The team reportedly had a FaceTime meeting with Herbert in March and that has led some to speculate that the Raiders could target him in the draft later this month. However, Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report thinks that Las Vegas would be the worst spot the former Oregon quarterback could land:
Herbert, in particular, struggles to consistently work off his initial read. He’s far more comfortable making simple quick throws. The reigning William V. Campbell Trophy winner can work through a full-field progression, but he’s not nearly as effective when asked to do so. Instead, he tends to lock onto his intended targets.
The problem here is twofold. First, a rookie coming in will struggle to initially replicate Carr’s production. Second, Herbert’s developmental curve may force Gruden to scale back and simplify the offense.
On top of those potential issues, the Raiders will likely have to pay a hefty price to trade up and land a prospect of Herbert’s caliber. He’s not the right option to displace Carr as Las Vegas’ starting quarterback.
Herbert is definitely one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the draft, but as Sobleski pointed out, he’s not much of a fit for the Raiders. Also, there’s almost no way Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are going to give up the necessary draft capital to trade up for him. Herbert could develop into a star, but it’s probably not going to be in Las Vegas.
Jordan Love Appears to Be More Likely Raiders Target
The name that has been most commonly linked to the Raiders is former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. His big arm and athletism have to be very intriguing to Gruden and he should be available when to the team without them having to trade up. According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, the Raiders could target Love if he slides in the draft:
And while everyone expects the Raiders to take a corner in round one, I’m told right now there is a good possibility they select QB Jordan Love with the 19th selection, if he’s is still available. They wouldn’t have to throw Love into the fire immediately and could develop him with the QB’s presently on the depth chart.
Love would be a better fit for the Raiders than Herbert as they wouldn’t need to play him right away. He could sit behind Carr for a year or two and work out some of the kinks that are concerning teams. It’s far from a given the Raiders have any intention of drafting a quarterback, but Love is the name to keep an eye on.
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Why Raiders Won’t Draft QB Early
While many will be excited about potentially adding the ridiculous upside that Love would bring to the table, it’s very unlikely to happen. Jon Gruden has never drafted a quarterback in the first round and if he’s looking for a project to work on, he already signed Marcus Mariota.
The only way the Raiders draft a quarterback in the first three rounds is if Jalen Hurts falls to them in round three. They obviously trust Derek Carr enough because they didn’t make a huge run at Tom Brady and he improved last year. The team has much bigger needs that they need to focus on in round one of the draft and using one of their two picks on a quarterback who probably wouldn’t play immediately would be a mistake.