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Raiders Draft Position Targets: Quarterback

Raiders Draft Position Targets: Quarterback

Silver and Black Today NFL Draft Analyst Kelly Kriner will list possible Las Vegas Raiders draft targets for 2020 in a series of articles between now and the first day of the NFL Draft.


Editors note: In this series, Kriner will review some of the possible targets for the Raiders in each round of the NFL draft. It evaluates each position group, except TE. These are not suggested Raiders draft picks but possible targets if they do draft these positions in each round.


Before you blow your top, or cheer in glee, evaluating the quarterbacks in relation to the Las Vegas Raiders in this year’s draft is not a suggestion they don’t start Derek Carr or that they are going to move on from Carr anytime soon. Instead, it’s the reality of today’s NFL. The most valuable player in the NFL is a quarterback (a good one) on a rookie contract.

While the Raiders aren’t in position to get either LSU’s Joe Burrow Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, there are a few signal callers who could serve as projects to either be an heir apparent to Carr or as a backup should the status quo win the day. With Marcus Mariota on a one-year contract, developing at least a backup is a good idea.

Round 1 – Jordan Love, Utah State

jordan love las vegas raiders mel kiper jr mock draft nfl
Love is a polarizing prospect but it’s easy to see why coaches get excited about him.

Pros:     

  • At 6’ 4” 233 lbs Love has the size that coaches look for.
  • Love has the arm strength to make any throw.
  • His mobility allows him to make plays off script both running and passing.
  • Uses different arm angles to make throws with pace and accuracy.

Cons:    

  • Has trouble with defensive switches before the snap.
  • Will stay in the pocket too long waiting for plays downfield to develop.
  • Makes too many “YOLO” throws into coverage trusting his arm strength.
  • Drop off from 2018, his INTs went way up with his new coaching scheme and player turnover.

Jordan Love has all the traits that will make QB coaches drool. His mobility and arm strength are tailor-made for today’s NFL. Coaches will tell themselves they can teach away his faults and make him a franchise QB for years to come. His level of competition and drop off from 2018 will have to be looked at, but Jordan Love will be a first-round draft pick.

Round 3 – Jake Fromm, Georgia

jake fromm las vegas raiders nfl draft quarterback
Fromm has his limitations but will be a starter in a West Coast system or as a backup.

Pros:     

  • Decision making is the hallmark of Jake Fromm’s game.
  • His pre-snap recognition is the best in this draft class.
  • Short to intermediate accuracy is off the charts.
  • Uses the whole field and can quickly go through progressions.

Cons:    

  • Lack of arm strength.
  • Deep ball accuracy is scattershot due to a lack of arm strength.
  • A pocket passer that is mobile in the pocket but not fast enough to make plays with his feet.

The physical limitations of Fromm will cause him to drop to a Day 2 pick.  While his game isn’t exciting, and he will not make highlight plays, Fromm has the mental game that will win games more often than he will lose them. A west coast system with short timing routes will be the best fit for his game. A high floor low ceiling prospect that will be a quality starter or great backup for years to come.

Round 4 – Anthony Gordon, Washington State

anthony gordon las vegas raiders nfl draft quarterback
Gordon’s air raid pedigree won’t hurt him but his lack of arm strength will.

Pros:     

  • Exceptional poise in the pocket.
  • Good short to intermediate touch/accuracy.
  • Has a quick release.

Cons:    

  • Arm strength
  • His deep passes tend to float in the air allowing defenders to catch up on long routes.
  • His lack of consistency in his footwork leads to off-target throws.
  • He has good mobility but stays in the pocket too long limiting his off-script playmaking.

Gordon comes from an air raid system that isn’t taboo as it was a few years ago before the successes of Patrick Mahomes and Gardner Minshew. He is tough as nails but his tendency to try and make too many throws into coverage could cause trouble at the next level. His arm strength will be the main reason he will probably wind up a Day 3 prospect.

Round 5 – James Morgan, Fla. International

james morgan las vegas raiders nfl draft
Morgan might be a project but has the ability to develop into a nice pro prospect on the right team where he can be developed over time. Photo: Samuel Lewis / ImageReflex

Pros:     

  • Excellent footwork and has his feet in the right position to make throws both in the pocket and on the run.
  • His anticipation on throws in advanced compared to some of the other prospects.
  • Has great deep ball accuracy especially when working against zone coverage.
  • Toughness is evident, he can take a shot and pop right back up.

Cons:    

  • His lack of mobility is evident especially when pressure comes up the middle.
  • He has a long release that will have to be shortened up at the next level.
  • Has a tendency to lock onto his first read.
  • Takes bad sacks trying to wait for longer throws to develop.

Morgan is the ideal candidate for a team with an established QB. Letting him sit for a year or two will give him the chance to work on his issues before being asked to lead an NFL franchise. He has a lot to work with but his lack of mobility will certainly be a problem.   

Kelly Kriner is a long-time football handicapper and draft analyst and appears on our CBS Sports Radio 1140 show when he's able to get up that early. Hailing from Indiana, Kriner calls Las Vegas home despite the fact Las Vegas doesn't claim him.

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