Mariota will join incumbent Derek Carr in vying for the starting job once training camp kicks off. This had many believing that the Raiders would avoid quarterback early in the 2020 NFL Draft next month. We previously focused on how that might run contrary to what head coach Jon Gruden has planned.
According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, some around the league believe that the Raiders are a prime candidate to move up for a signal caller.
“Many insiders around the league believe head coach Jon Gruden might not be able to help himself with this quarterback class,” Miller reported.
One longtime NFL scout with close ties to Gruden indicated that it might be unlikely the Raiders move up, but it wouldn’t be a surprise.
Gruden and his Raiders are a true wild card heading into the draft. They boast the 12th and 19th overall selections in the first round. Las Vegas is also without a second-round pick as a result of the Khalil Mack trade with Chicago. Some believe a trade down from one of those two positions make sense.
Not so fast. Here’s why.
Las Vegas is certainly in a position to nab a quarterback it deems too hard to pass up on in a trade-up scenario.
The Raiders would likely have to move up ahead of the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers at six. An option here includes the New York Giants with the fourth selection. A move of this ilk would require both first-round picks while taking back additional mid-round selections, according to generic trade value charts.
For his part, Carr had been bandied about as trade bait ahead of the start of free agency. Now that the Raiders have Mariota on the roster, it stands to reason that adding a rookie could lead to Las Vegas moving Carr during the draft. This would enable Gruden and Co. to pick up additional draft capital they would love in a hypothetical trade-up scenario for a quarterback.
There are teams that can shake up the top of next month’s draft now that it is going to go on as scheduled. Always a wild card, Gruden and the Raiders are certainly one of those squads.
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