Insider Urges Raiders to Draft QB in 1st Round: ‘Rich Man’s Jordan Love’

sam howell

Getty UNC QB Sam Howell.

Over the years, many questioned Derek Carr’s status as the Las Vegas Raiders quarterback because of Jon Gruden’s noncommital nature at the position. However, Gruden may have actually been his biggest champion. Carr even said earlier in the season that the coach threatened to quit football if he was hurt when the quarterback had an injury scare. Gruden is gone now and the Raiders could be in for a major shake-up this offseason.

The team is at 6-6 but has lost four of the last five games. It’s looking very possible that they’ll be bringing in a new general manager and head coach in the offseason. If that’s the case, that could make Carr’s future murky. He’s second in the NFL in passing yards right now but the offense is much too inconsistent this season. Vic Tafur of The Athletic doesn’t necessarily think that the Raiders should move on from Carr immediately, but he does believe that they should draft a quarterback in the offseason:

At this point, I would trade down for more picks or move up a couple of spots and grab North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell, who went 16th to the Steelers in Brugler’s mock. Carr has one year left on his contract, and backups Marcus Mariota and Nathan Peterman will be free agents. If Carr is signed to a contract extension, Howell can be groomed and serve as a backup or a potential trade piece. Think of Howell as a rich man’s Jordan Love.

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Should Raiders Seriously Consider Howell?

Sam Howell

GettySam Howell makes a face as he scores a touchdown for North Carolina in 2021.

Fans won’t love the comparison to Jordan Love as the 2020 first-round pick of the Green Bay Packers looked awful in his one start this season. However, Howell isn’t the same player as Love. First of all, he’s not particularly big. He is only 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds. He’s more similar to Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield as NFL draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has pointed out before.

The thing that would have to excite Raiders fans is that Howell has a great arm and can make all the throws you’d like to see from an NFL quarterback. He’s aggressive to a fault but that’s more in line with the greatest Raider quarterbacks. The biggest drawback is that he’s not the most athletic quarterback coming out of college. He can move and avoid pressure but he’s no Kyler Murray. Considering Carr is about to enter a contract year, it may not be the worst idea to bring a quarterback to groom and see what he can do. If the Packers were willing to do it with Aaron Rodgers, the Raiders could be willing to do it with Carr.

Next Head Coach Could Determine Future at QB for Raiders

What the Raiders do at quarterback will largely depend on who ends up being the next head coach. If the team brings back Rich Bisaccia, Carr will almost certainly be the starter. If the team looks elsewhere, the quarterback’s future becomes murky.

A veteran NFL coach may like what Carr brings to the table. He’s a great leader and continues to show flashes of elite ability. An offensive-minded coach could believe that they can bring out the best in Carr consistently. If the Raiders look to the college ranks to find a head coach, it becomes more likely that they’d want to build around a younger quarterback. Las Vegas has some massive decisions this offseason.

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