Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is in Mobile, Alabama this week watching and speaking to draft prospects at the 2014 Senior Bowl. Last season head coach Dennis Allen and his staff were coaches at the Senior Bowl and the team ended up selecting linebacker Sio Moore, quarterback Tyler Wilson, and tight end Mychal Rivera in the 2013 NFL Draft. This year, the Raiders are again scouting the prospects with an eye toward the quarterback position.
If the Raiders don't fall in love with any of the quarterback prospects at the number five pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, then some of the Senior Bowl prospects can come into play. McKenzie likes Johnny Manziel, but there is no guarantee he will be there for Oakland or that he feels like quarterback is the most pressing need in the first round. He knows it will be extremely important to address the position this offseason, but alluded to bringing in a veteran quarterback via free agency. He also feels that a rookie quarterback can sit and learn their first year, not be tossed into the NFL fire. With so many scenarios, the Raiders will be looking for the Senior Bowl quarterbacks to determine if any are worth a shot after the first round.
This year's Senior Bowl has an interesting crop of quarterbacks, with Derek Carr being one of the most intriguing. His production at Fresno State is insane. He threw for over 5,000 passing yards and tossed 50 touchdowns in 2013. The brother of former first overall selection David Carr is projected to go in the first round of the draft. He has good size at 6'3", 220 pounds with a strong arm and good mobility. The Raiders would like to see him fall into the early second round and grab him there.
The rest of the quarterbacks have talent as well. Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas, Miami's Stephen Morris, Clemson's Tajh Boyd, Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo, and San Jose State's David Fales. If the Raiders don't get a quarterback in the first round, all of these guys will be in play later in the draft. Boyd is an intriguing prospect at 6'1", 225 pounds. He was very good mobility and power. He holds ACC records for passing touchdowns and total touchdowns. He has a strong arm, good leadership qualities, and the Raiders have shown some interest in him this week.
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