A few teams are heading into this year’s draft with a ton of pressure to find key contributors. Yet, no other team faces the same scrutiny as the Oakland Raiders. Enter Kyler Murray.
Last offseason, Jon Gruden was welcomed as the new head coach. Fans rejoiced to see “Chucky” back in action—until he traded one of their best players.
The Raiders sent Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears for a first-round pick in 2019 and 2020, with a third-round pick in 2020 and a sixth-round pick in 2019.
Fans and the media mocked Gruden. Mack isn’t a player to let go without trying to retain him.
The Raiders brought in Mike Mayock to be the new general manager. Mayock is most recently known for his coverage on the NFL Draft for NFL Network.
The Raiders hope his drafting prowess can mold their draft picks into a masterpiece. Mayock’s first accomplishment as GM was acquiring Antonio Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers for third- and fifth-round picks.
There are plenty of questions surrounding this team, but none are bigger than what the Raiders should do with Derek Carr. An answer could be found during the NFL Draft.
The Raiders own three first-round picks and could trade up for Kyler Murray. Here are three reasons why the Raiders should trade up to get the Heisman winning quarterback out of Oklahoma.
3. Murray Brings A Lot to an Offense
What made Murray so special in college was his ability to make plays with his legs and not just his arm. Everyone is searching for quarterbacks such as Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson—guys who can escape the pocket and unload downfield.
Murray did that at Oklahoma. In 2018, Murray had 4,361 yards, 42 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He also 1,001 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns on the ground.
Murray is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks we’ve seen out of college in recent years. The Raiders shouldn’t waste any time bringing him in.
We could see Murray throwing passes to Antonio Brown downfield for a few years. Business would be booming in Oakland.
2. There Isn’t Much Time to Wait for Derek Carr
The Raiders have a ton of pressure to turn things around very quickly. If Derek Carr is under center this year, there are no excuses for him, but can the team wait to see if he can return to his 2016 form?
The Raiders added Brown, Tyrell Williams, and others to bolster their offense. Carr struggled mightily in 2018 but also lacked the weapons to throw to.
Regardless, the Raiders have to decide if Carr can consistently perform at the level they need from him.
In 2020, the Raiders will be calling Las Vegas home and will be in a new stadium. If the Raiders want their plan to go smoothly, their team can’t be struggling as it did in 2018.
Carr still has potential, but bringing in Murray could bring needed energy. There’s no doubt that someone as electrifying as Murray would sell tickets in Las Vegas.
1. Mayock and Gruden Don’t Seem Sold on Carr
In recent interviews, Mayock keeps stating that Carr is their franchise quarterback, but if there is somebody they like more than Carr, they will make that decision.
Here’s the exact quote from Mayock himself.
“I’m going to tell you, [Oakland Tribune Raiders beat writer] Jerry [McDonald], the same thing I told you at the combine and that I believe in, and I’ve said before: Derek Carr is a franchise quarterback, and we believe that,” general manager Mike Mayock said Thursday. “Beyond that, just like in any other position, we’re going to do our due diligence. If we found somebody we like better or thought had bigger upside, then you got to do the right thing for the organization.”
That statement doesn’t confirm the Raiders are riding with Carr, which leaves the door open for a trade. Consider that fact that Mayock and Gruden inherited Carr. They didn’t choose him.
If the Raiders want to find someone with a bigger upside than Carr, Murray is their guy. Murray’s upside is through the roof if he can land in the right place.
The Raiders have a few tough decisions this offseason, but none as big as the quarterback spot. Trading for Murray seems like a logical choice for the future Las Vegas Raiders.