Report: Raiders among teams to visit Stanford QB Hogan


Report: Raiders among teams to visit Stanford QB Hogan

The Raiders aren't in urgent need of a quarterback, starting or back-up.

They've got Derek Carr and Matt McGloin on the roster.

But with McGloin an unrestricted free agent following the upcoming 2016 season, it might be wise to take a quarterback late in next week's NFL Draft and develop him into Carr's eventual back-up.

[BAIR: Raiders draft outlook: Quarterback]

Enter Stanford signal caller Kevin Hogan.

The 6-foot-3 quarterback, who amassed a 37-10 record at Stanford, received a visit from the Raiders, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The Eagles, Buccaneers and Titans also made trips to Palo Alto to meet with Hogan, according to the report.

The Browns, Chargers and Ravens reportedly brought Hogan in for a visit.

Projected as a mid-to-late-round pick, Hogan met with prospective NFL employers at the scouting combine in February and pitched teams on his ability to win games.

“You play the game to win, and you have to do whatever it takes to secure victory,” Hogan said on Thursday, Feb. 25. “Whether it’s leading a two-minute drive in the fourth quarter or handing the ball off 50 times, winning is all that matters. I understand that. I don’t care about individual stats. It’s about victories for me, and I think NFL teams obviously respect that.”

Hogan has shortened his throwing motion during this offseason. He believes that, in addition to his experience in Stanford’s pro-style offense, will prove he can be a successful pro.

“I’m happy with my upbringing in the West Coast system,” Hogan said. “From talking to NFL players, they all say it translates really well.”

[RELATED: Hogan aided by Luck, Stanford upbringing]

Hogan has some excellent resources to lean on. The sturdiest is Stanford alum and current Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, a mentor Hogan spoke with on Wednesday.

“I spent a lot of time on the phone with him, just getting ready to come here,” Hogan said. “I spent some time on the phone with Matt Hasselbeck, just talking about the process and everything he’s done in his career. Had some coaches who are currently in the NFL coaching, so I got some advice from them, as well. “I feel I have a lot of good resources to reach out to and get information from, and will give me an honest opinion about where I can improve.”

Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster


Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster

The Raiders have a lot of quarterbacks under contract, certainly more than they’ll have come September.

That means the battle to be Derek Carr’s backup should be fierce. EJ Manuel had that title last year, with a shot to retain it after re-signing with the club on Thursday afternoon.

Veteran Josh Johnson signed up Monday, and those two will join third-year man Connor Cook behind Carr on the depth chart.

New head coach Jon Gruden loved Cook coming out of the draft, but the Michigan State alum failed to earn the backup job last season and must make a move up the depth chart to kickstart his career.

Manuel has a strong arm and starting experience, making him a steady and solid backup option. He completed 24-of-43 passes for 265 yards, a touchdown and an interception in two games when Carr was hurt.

Johnson might be a camp arm at this point, though he’ll be given a chance to compete this spring and summer.

Carr has been hurt for at least a small stretch in each of the last two seasons. Having Manuel in that spot might offer stability.

Gruden addressed last year’s backup quarterbacks last month at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Gruden on Manuel: “I think EJ is a young, talented guy,” Gruden said. “He’s been in the facility working out on his own every day. There is a bright upside to him, too, as a young quarterback to keep working with. He’s a free agent, but the Philadelphia Eagles proved that’s a pretty damn important position, isn’t it? Right? So we have to address that and see where we are.”

Gruden on Cook: “I am kind of surprised Connor hasn’t played in two years, other than the playoff game he got in as a rookie. After Derek got hurt last year, they turned the ball to EJ. I don’t know where Connor Cook is. I am frustrated right now that I can’t spend any time with him, but, April 9th (when the Raiders offeseason program starts) will be an exciting day for me and Connor Cook.”

Raiders sign tackle Breno Giacomini


Raiders sign tackle Breno Giacomini

The Raiders need help at right tackle, the lone vacancy along their offensive line. They signed a veteran presence on Thursday afternoon, adding 32-year old Breno Giacomini as the frontrunner to join the starting five.

He has 86 starts in 94 career games, and has been a full-time starter three of the last four years. Giacomini spent 2017 in Houston and the previous three seasons with the New York Jets.

He was a Seattle Seahawk before that, working with Raiders offensive line coach Tom Cable for three of his four years there. Cable gave Giacomini his first chance to start in the second half of 2011, and held the post through 2012.

The bond between the two is clearly strong, considering what Giacomini tweeted shortly after Cable got fired in Seattle.

Coach and player will reunite, hoping to provide steadiness on the right side of the Raiders offensive line.

He’ll compete for a starting spot with Vadal Alexander, second-year pros David Sharpe and Jylan Ware and possibly a drafted player. Giacomini should be considered the favorite unless the Raiders use an early pick on an offensive lineman.

Giacomini has plenty of starts, but his Pro Football Focus numbers aren’t pretty. The analytics says he allowed nine sacks, eight quarterback hits and 64 pressures with Houston last year. He had some decent years under Cable, and a return to that form might push him into the starting lineup for good. Time will tell on that front.