Raiders Warned Against Adding Award-Winning 22-Year-Old QB

michael pratt

Getty Former Tulane QB Michael Pratt.

The 2024 NFL Draft is closing in and the Las Vegas Raiders‘ plan at quarterback remains unclear. With a number of needs throughout the roster, the team could decide to wait to add a quarterback until later in the draft.

However, Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report believes that’s a bad idea. One quarterback who could be available to the Raiders in later rounds is Tulane’s Michael Pratt. While Pratt was successful in college and was 2023’s AAC Offensive Player of the Year, his limited upside makes him a questionable fit in Las Vegas.

“Pratt has the tools to be a valuable NFL backup and spot starter, and he’ll make sense for plenty of franchises,” Knox wrote in an April 8 column. “However, he isn’t likely to unseat O’Connell on the depth chart or become Las Vegas’ quarterback of the future. The Raiders can and should take a swing at the QB position later this month, but they don’t need to go chasing their QB3 on draft weekend.”

Pratt does what both Aidan O’Connell and Gardner Minshew do well, which is protect the football and throw it accurately from the pocket. If the Raiders are going to take a swing on a quarterback, it would be wiser to add one with more athletic upside.

“His toughness, touch accuracy and moderate athletic ability should help him keep the ship afloat in a pinch,” Derrik Klassen of the B/R Scouting Department wrote about Pratt. “However, Pratt’s uneven decision-making and lack of high-end traits limit his upside.”

Las Vegas Raiders Expected to Add Michael Penix Jr.

It’s looking more and more likely that if the Raiders decide to draft a quarterback in the first two rounds, it’s going to be Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. He may be available to the team in the second round but Pro Football Focus’ Max Chadwick is projecting them to take Penix with the No. 13 pick.

“The 1983 NFL Draft set the record for the most first-round quarterbacks, with six hearing their names called,” Chadwick wrote in an April 8 mock draft. “This class not only has a strong chance of tying that record, but all six could go in the top 15.

“Penix has NFL-level arm talent and was one of the best signal-callers in college football in each of the past two seasons.”

Penix is a pocket passer but his athletic traits are more exciting than Michael Pratt’s. He’s got a big arm and can also run fast for a quarterback of his size. He’s got the kind of upside that would be worth taking a risk on.

Should Las Vegas Raiders Hold off on Adding QB?

Michael Penix Jr. could be a great NFL quarterback but he’s also suffered two separate torn ACL injuries in his career and will be 24 in May. He’s not a sure thing and does have some red flags, which is why he’s not considered a top-10 pick.

There are many teams in the NFL that need a quarterback right now and the Raiders not picking until No. 13 puts them in a tough position. They may need to hold off on trying to find their franchise quarterback until next year when there shouldn’t be as many teams at the top of the draft expected to draft a quarterback.

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