Raiders

NFL draft: Could Raiders be trying to trade up for Kyler Murray?

NFL draft: Could Raiders be trying to trade up for Kyler Murray?

With six days to go until the 2019 NFL Draft,  Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock reportedly closed their ranks, sending all of their lower-tier scouts home due to a lack of trust. 

It makes sense for the Raiders to send people home for a few reasons, mainly the fact that they have all the information they need and now it's up to Gruden and Mayock to make the decisions.

But, what if the Silver and Black want secrecy for a different reason? What if there's a prospect who likely will be selected before the Raiders are on the clock at No. 4, that Gruden and Mayock want to try and maneuver a trade to go up and get? An electric quarterback who dazzled during his lone season as a college starter and has all the tools to be successful in the modern NFL.

Kyler Murray.

Of course, the prevailing thought is that the Arizona Cardinals will select Murray with the No. 1 overall pick and jettison quarterback Josh Rosen to parts unknown. But reports leaked Thursday that the Raiders could make a "big move" for Murray, and now it makes a little more sense that Mayock and Gruden shuttered themselves in with only the trusted surrounding them. 

After an underwhelming first season in Gruden's offense, many have wondered how long Derek Carr would remain the quarterback in Oakland. While Mayock and Gruden have offered some support for the 28-year-old signal-caller, it hasn't been overwhelming, at all. 

In fact, despite Mayock and Gruden claiming Carr is their guy, the Raiders met with Murray and worked him out in Dallas earlier this month.

It's actually pretty well known that both Mayock and Gruden love Murray.

To be fair, what's not to love?

During his lone season as the starter at Oklahoma, Murray captivated the college football world, throwing for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns while also rushing for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns en route to winning the Heisman Trophy.

Plain and simple, Murray would be the perfect quarterback for the Raiders' revamped offense.

After adding Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, J.J. Nelson and offensive tackle Trent Brown, the Raiders are in need of a dynamic quarterback who can extend plays with his legs and utilize the team's new field-stretching weapons by taking down-field shots.

Last season at Oklahoma, Murray averaged 11.6 yards per pass and a ridiculous 16.8 yards per competition. He was the very definition of a stretch-the-field passer.

Compare that to Carr, who averaged 7.3 yards per pass and 10.6 yards per completion last season, and it's easy to see why the Raiders might be looking to make a splash. Sure, Carr's numbers could be the result of lesser down-field weapons, or perhaps the Fresno State product just isn't as confident in going downfield as he needs to be in the modern NFL.

Carr, 28, was an MVP candidate in 2016, but he has failed to take the next step in his progression over the past two seasons. During that time, Carr has completed 66 percent of his passes while accumulating a 41-to-23 touchdown to interception ratio. Carr is a solid NFL quarterback, but he doesn't have the upside and playmaking ability that Murray does and perhaps a fresh start would do him good.

In today's wide-open NFL, a mobile, playmaking quarterback and a star receiver can take you a long way. Just ask Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and the Kansas City Chiefs. The very thing a number of NFL teams are trying to replicate now.

If Gruden and Mayock really are as in love with Murray as it appears, perhaps they closed ranks in order to try and work out a trade with the Cardinals, knowing that should it fall through, they can deny and throw their weight back behind Carr.

[RELATED: Boom or bust? Some options for Raiders in first round of NFL draft]

With four picks in the top 35, the Raiders have enough ammunition to move around in a number of ways. Until recently, it's been believed they would focus on rebuilding their defense early in the draft, but perhaps Gruden has his eyes on a bigger prize than Quinnen Williams or Nick Bosa. Perhaps he has his eyes on the star who was supposed to be patrolling center field at the same Coliseum the Raiders will call home for one more season.

Murray has all the tools a quarterback needs in the modern NFL, and there's no doubt Gruden has thought about the 5-foot-10 signal-caller tossing long touchdowns to Brown for the foreseeable future.

If the infatuation is real, only one question remains: Can the Raiders do what is needed to go get Kyler Murray?

Anonymous Raider really wants Jaguars' Jalen Ramsey traded to Oakland

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Anonymous Raider really wants Jaguars' Jalen Ramsey traded to Oakland

Jaguars star Jalen Ramsey wants out of Jacksonville, and (at least) one Raider wants the cornerback in Oakland. 

An anonymous member of the Silver and Black made the case for his team to bring in the talented, trash-talking 25-year-old to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez. 

Ramsey would help just about any NFL team play the kind of defense it aspires to. In four NFL seasons, the Florida State product has grown into one of the NFL's best cornerbacks, if not the best. Pro Football Focus ranked Ramsey the second-best cornerback coming into the season, and early-season struggles in a situation he clearly wants no part of -- just ask Doug Marrone -- won't dissuade any interested suitors.

[RELATED: Davis trade gives Raiders speed in return game, on offense]

In theory, the Raiders should be one. As NBC Sports California's Josh Schrock noted earlier this week, acquiring Ramsey would allow the Raiders to slide their cornerbacks down the depth chart and into roles in which they could thrive. Ramsey won't come cheap when his contract is up after next season, either, but the Silver and Black is set up to have plenty of salary-cap space when the team moves to Las Vegas in 2021.

After orbiting around Antonio Brown's star for fewer than six months, the Raiders conceivably could want no part in acquiring another disgruntled player forcing his way out of the team that drafted him. If the Raider who spoke up is to be believed, the locker room might think it's worth the risk. 

Raiders injury report: Trent Brown among list of ailing offensive stars

Raiders injury report: Trent Brown among list of ailing offensive stars

ALAMEDA – The Raiders offense is a bit banged up right now. Several expensive or highly-touted members of that unit are limited or worse at practice, including a large section of skill players working through pain.

Right tackle Trent Brown was the biggest omission on Wednesday’s participation report, sidelined with a right knee injury that kept him out the closing moments of Sunday’s loss to Kansas City.

“He’s a tough guy,” head coach Jon Gruden said. “Hopefully he’s ready to go. We sure need him.”

The Raiders need some good news from an ailing receiver corps. Dwayne Harris could be in bad shape dealing with an ankle injury, which is why the Raiders traded for Green Bay’s Trevor Davis. He can help in the return game and bring speed to the receiver corps.

Tyrell Williams and Josh Jacobs are dealing with hip injuries, the Raiders announced on Wednesday, that left both guys limited in a practice that was dialed back to preserve health.

Williams and Jacobs also missed portions of a Sunday second quarter when the Chiefs went on a 28-point run, during which the Raiders offense couldn’t get a first down.

“It’s tough on all of us. It’s tough to call plays when you’re calling a play for a guy and he’s not there,” Gruden said. “Then you’re calling a play for another guy and he’s not there, so the emotional part of it you got to get over and you got to adjust kind of like playing on the road, or playing in London, or playing in Winnipeg. You just got to adjust. I’m really proud of those guys for coming back and giving us all they had and finishing the game and practicing today. They’re tough guys.”

J.J. Nelson also remains limited with an ankle injury, putting a strain on the receiver corps.

Ryan Grant, Hunter Renfrow and Keelan Doss are the only healthy receivers at this point, though it seems likely Williams will be ready by Sunday. The same goes for Jacobs, as vital as anyone to the Raiders success.

Here’s the full participation report:

Raiders practice report

WEDNESDAY
Did not practice
RT Trent Brown (knee)
WR Dwayne Harris (ankle)
RG Gabe Jackson (knee)

Limited practice
CB Gareon Conley (neck)
LB Vontaze Burfict (shoulder/knee)
RB Josh Jacobs (hip)
DT Corey Liuget (knee)
WR J.J. Nelson (ankle)
S Curtis Riley (hip)
WR Tyrell Williams (hip)