The Oakland Raiders were able to snag Khalil Mack with the fifth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, making them big winners on the first day. They could have similar success today, and it’s possible that they could draft their quarterback of the future today with a high second-round pick. The Raiders are being heavily linked to Fresno State Bulldogs QB Derek Carr, who is clearly the top signal-caller left on the board and the lone “big four ” QB prospect to slip outside of the first round. The Houston Texans, who could also use a quarterback, are clearly looking to trade down, and the Raiders could even move up to 33 to guarantee the selection of Carr.
There is no doubt in my mind that Carr has the strongest arm in the draft class, and he has plenty of other positive traits as well. He is fast and athletic, he does a great job of placing the ball on the sidelines, he’s excellent in key situations such as red zone plays and third downs, he has great intangibles, he’s accurate, and he didn’t throw many interceptions last year despite throwing a high volume of passes and facing plenty of pressure due to the style of his offense and the poor blocking in front of him.
According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Derek Carr is the top quarterback on the Oakland Raiders board, and this only makes the Carr-Raiders rumors even stronger. It’s worth noting that there was a report yesterday stating that the Raiders top QB was Blake Bortles, so it’s unclear if Rapoport is reporting that Carr is their No. 1 of the guys available or is their No. 1 guy overall. At this point, though, that’s just semantics, because all that matters is that the Raiders have Carr ranked over the likes of Tom Savage, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Zach Mettenberger. I think Carr is by far the best QB available, and he makes plenty of sense for the Raiders, especially since they can give him some time to develop (his footwork needs a significant amount of polishing) behind Matt Schaub, who is the short-term starter.