Raiders

Raiders

Mike Mayock was clear Tuesday when he said the Raiders would look to improve any position they can. While the general manager was pleased with Derek Carr's 2019 season, that list does include the quarterback.

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the Raiders already have met with two quarterbacks at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. But it might not be the signal-callers you are thinking of. 

Georgia's Jake Fromm and Utah State's Jordan Love both told the media Tuesday that they already have met with the Silver and Black. 

LSU's Joe Burrow, Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon's Justin Herbert are seen as the top three quarterbacks in the class, and all three should be off the board by the time the Raiders select at No. 12. If the Raiders fall in love with Tagovailoa or Herbert they could make a move to trade up. But given the number of holes the Raiders have to fill, it seems unlikely they will make a move up for either Herbert or Tagovailoa. 

 

At his combine presser Tuesday, Tagovailoa said he has not yet met with the Raiders but will meet with different team doctors later today. 

With pressing needs at wide receiver and all over the defense, it would make sense for the Silver and Black to address receiver and linebacker in the first round (our mock draft has them selecting Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and LSU linebacker Patrick Queen) and then perhaps take a flier on a quarterback in third round where they have three picks. 

Love should be gone well before then. He's the No. 4 QB in the class and has physical tremendous upside. I expect a team will jump at the chance to draft him the minute the first three quarterbacks are off the board. 

Fromm, however, is a polarizing prospect. 

He led Georgia to three straight SEC East titles, a Rose Bowl win, two Sugar Bowl appearances (one win) and a College Football Playoff National Championship appearance during his time in Athens, Ga. He played in a number of big games and racked up the wins. He all the intangibles you'd want in a leader of your franchise. He's tough, has grit and just makes plays when his team needs him to. 

But he had a puzzling junior season. 

Fromm entered the 2019 season as one of the best quarterbacks in college football, the leader of a team with national title aspirations. But he recorded career lows in completion percentage (60.8 percent) and yards per attempt (7.4). He also threw for six fewer touchdowns this past season (24) then he did during his sophomore campaign. 

Georgia had an elite offensive line, anchored by likely first-round pick Andrew Thomas, and a devastating running game spearheaded by potential first-round back D'Andre Swift. All that worked to Fromm's advantage, and he still struggled down the stretch. 

During the second half of the season, Fromm completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes in five straight games. While he tossed 11 touchdowns and only two interceptions in those games, it's a massive red flag for a three-year starter. 

Some of that falls on Georiga's archaic offensive scheme that made Fromm more of a game manager than his talent suggests. In the age of explosive college offensives, the Bulldogs zagged and went old school, relying on a dominant defense and power running game to choke the life out of opponents, rarely asking Fromm to air it out. 

Fromm was efficient in the pocket throughout his career, constantly putting the ball on time and in the right place on short and intermediate throws. His deep-ball accuracy has been questioned as has his arm strength. 

His hand size which left something to be desired at 8 7/8 inches has been a topic of conversation in Indianapolis, but Fromm had a cheeky response Tuesday. 

 

“It’s an eighth of an inch away from being the desired nine inches, no big deal,” Fromm said. “The same hands that went to three SEC Championships, Rose Bowl, National Championship and some Sugar Bowls. I think it’s played plenty of football and done well enough so far.”

Touche. 

Fromm had moments of brilliance last season, but also had too many easy misses that will leave teams scratching their head. 

In fairness, Fromm has shown he has the ability to spin it.

Fromm is expected to be a Day 2 or Day 3 selection. He certainly has his warts and will have to show marked improvement, but the Raiders could take a flier on him in the later rounds and see if head coach Jon Gruden can mold him into a starting quarterback. 

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With Mike Glennon and DeShone Kizer likely not returning, the Raiders will have room for a young backup quarterback no matter who the starter is. 

Don't be surprised if they take a chance on Fromm later in the draft if he impresses during his interviews.