Alonzo Adams/Associated Press
The Oakland Raiders are doing their due diligence on the quarterbacks in the class of 2019 ahead of this year’s NFL draft.
Albert Breer of The MMQB reported: “Coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock will work [Kyler] Murray out in Dallas on Monday, I’m told, and they’ll work [Dwayne] Haskins out on Tuesday in Columbus [Ohio]. Doing them back-to-back should bring pretty good perspective in comparing them.”
Gruden has maintained that Derek Carr will remain the team’s quarterback, however, as he told Jim Trotter of the NFL Network last week:
“He’s going to be our quarterback. I’m not going to address all the rumors. I could care less about the rumors. He threw for 4,100 yards. Threw for almost 70 percent in a very dire, tough circumstance. So I’ve got a lot of confidence in Carr; what he can do with Antonio Brown, with Tyrell Williams, with Trent Brown coming in here to help our offensive line.”
But that’s not going to stop the Raiders from exploring the quarterback market at this year’s NFL draft. As Mayock told Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, there is value in scouting quarterbacks, even if you don’t plan on drafting them:
“You better know how good these guys are. You better know what other teams are interested in them. You better know whether or not you can improve your own position. That’s part of what a GM and head coach do is evaluate every position on your football team, and you owe it to your team to do the best job you can to upgrade whenever you can. But again, I said this back at the combine: I don’t think there are (many) people walking around that are better than Derek Carr.”
That wasn’t the case last year, when Carr threw for 4,049 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing 68.9 percent of his passes. The Raiders went just 4-12. To Carr’s credit, he didn’t have many dangerous weapons at his disposal. This year, he’ll have major upgrades in Brown at tackle and Williams at wideout.
The Raiders, meanwhile, can only benefit from Gruden and Mayock learning more about this year’s quarterback class and the perception that they might be interested in selecting one. If teams are clamoring to move up in the draft to nab a Murray or Haskins, for instance, they could call the Raiders, who hold the No. 4 pick (along with Nos. 24 and 27).
The Raiders have done a lot of wheeling and dealing in the past year. It wouldn’t be surprising to see that trend continue in the last week of April during the draft.