NFL rumors: Raiders questioned if Josh Allen 'had enough dog in him'

NFL rumors: Raiders questioned if Josh Allen 'had enough dog in him'

The Raiders have lauded their decision to draft defensive end Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 overall pick, though it was certainly a surprise to many. 

One of the main reasons it came as a shock was because of who was still on the board, especially edge rusher Josh Allen. The Raiders were dead last in the NFL with a laughable 13 total sacks last season. Allen, who recorded 17 sacks last year as a senior at Kentucky, seemed like a logical fit to help boost an ugly pass rush. 

But The Athletic's Vic Tafur reported Friday that the Raiders had some concerns with Allen, who fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 7.

"Basically I heard that the Raiders weren’t that impressed," Tafur wrote. "I reported pretty early on he wasn’t in play for them at No. 4. I would never question a player’s toughness but there were concerns that he got pushed around a little on some plays at Kentucky and he may not have had enough dog in him for Gruden and Guenther’s liking." 

Allen met with the Raiders on one of his final pre-draft visits. He watched film with general manager Mike Mayock and the two broke down his positives and negatives on the field. 

“We watched some film together, good and bad clips of myself,” Allen said to NBC Sports Bay Area in April. “He taught me and showed me what I can improve on. What I do good, too.”

[RELATED: How Ferrell plans to earn respect in Raiders’ locker room]

Ferrell was a star himself in college as well, but if Allen out-plays him as a rookie, there will be plenty of people questioning the Raiders' pick.

2019 NFL Draft: Biggest winners, losers from weekend in Nashville

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2019 NFL Draft: Biggest winners, losers from weekend in Nashville

After an offseason of hype, the 2019 NFL Draft is over. 

The Arizona Cardinals removed the "presumptive" tag from No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray, allowing the 49ers to draft edge rusher Nick Bosa at No. 2. The Raiders entered the draft with more first-round picks than anyone else, and still managed to turn heads with their first selection. 

But now that the dust has settled, which teams had a weekend to remember in Nashville? And who, like plenty of bachelor-and-bachelorette party-goers in the city, had one they wanted to forget? 

Here are the winners and losers from this year's draft. 

Loser: New York Giants

Forgive us for repeating ourselves. If you squint closely, Duke quarterback Daniel Jones does kind of look like Eli Manning. Plus, he learned under David Cutcliffe, who recruited Eli to Ole Miss and groomed Peyton Manning at Tennessee.

But even if Jones wouldn't have been there when the G-Men picked in the spot acquired in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, they almost surely could have traded back a little farther, considering Dwayne Haskins slipped to NFC East rival Washington at No. 15.

The draft is all about maximizing value, and although Giants general manager Dave Gettleman was able to trade back into the first round, the full-scale rebuild he's undergoing probably could have used some extra picks for moving back or the alternative to Jones at No. 6.

Winner: Washington

Washington drafted the better quarterback prospect than its division rival, and didn't have to move up to do it. That'd be a win no matter how the rest of the draft looked, but Washington also reportedly scooped the Raiders by trading up to select Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat to bolster its pass rush. 

Couple those first-rounders with strong value in Stanford running back Bryce Love (No. 112 overall) and bringing in one of Haskins' favorite targets, Terry McLaurin, and you have the makings of a strong draft.

Were the last three days in Nashville considered "Opposite Weekend," or are we seeing a changing of fortunes in the NFC East? 

Loser: New Orleans Saints

The Saints are Going For It, but having just five picks in the draft -- and not owning a first-rounder for the first time since 2012 -- could sting down the line if QB Drew Brees can't continue to fend off Father Time into his 40s.

There's also the matter of losing in the most heartbreaking way possible in January's NFC Championship game. New Orleans remains loaded and in position to make another run at a Super Bowl, but if there ever was a time to show off a shiny new first-round pick, wouldn't getting the taste of a missed pass-interference call out of its mouths qualify? 

[RELATED: How writers graded 49ers' eight picks in 2019 NFL Draft]

Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars

Surprises forced their hand a bit at the top of the draft, but in a good way. Jones' selection at No. 6 and the Raiders picking Clemson edge rusher Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 allowed the Jaguars to scoop up Kentucky star Josh Allen at No. 7 overall. 

Jacksonville also was able to snag Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor in the second round at No. 35 overall, despite projections he could be a first-round pick. Drafting Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew in the sixth round was another example of the Jaguars letting the draft board fall to them, rather than trying to dictate it themselves. 

Loser: Quarterbacks

Lately, it seems QB-needy NFL teams can talk themselves into any draft class into being good enough. That wasn't exactly the case this year. 

Murray, Jones and Haskins were the only quarterbacks selected in the first round. As ESPN's Kevin Seifert noted, this was just the second time since 2004 that no team made a first-round trade to draft a QB. 

Some of that surely has to do with Haskins sliding, as Washington didn't feel the need to trade up. Still, given all the talk about teams Taking For Tua [Tagovailoa] or having a Losing Season For [Washington QB Jacob] Eason, it's clear that the teams picking felt the same away about this crop of signal-callers that many pundits did. 

NFL rumors: Nick Foles to sign with Jaguars at start of NFL free agency

NFL rumors: Nick Foles to sign with Jaguars at start of NFL free agency

The 49ers have their franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, and the Raiders recently reaffirmed their faith in Derek Carr as theirs.

The Jacksonville Jaguars appear to have no such faith in Blake Bortles, and according to Les Bowen of Philly.com, they've already found their replacement in the Eagles' Nick Foles.

"The only Eagles quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl is bound for Jacksonville when NFL free agency opens March 13, according to NFL sources with knowledge of the situation," Bowen wrote Sunday.

"A market for Nick Foles outside of Jacksonville has not developed, and though nothing is certain until it is official, the Jaguars absolutely expect to sign Foles, sources said."

Foles signing with the Jaguars -- the Eagles have already announced they do not plan to use the franchise tag on him -- would not have a direct impact on either the 49ers or Raiders, but quite possibly an indirect one.

Acquiring Foles would seem to eliminate Jacksonville from the list of quarterback-needy teams. That list has been dwindling rather rapidly after Denver traded for Baltimore's Joe Flacco. Washington and Miami will likely be in the market for a quarterback, but in general, the supply currently outweighs the demand, and that would be further exasperated by Foles signing with the Jags.

This is quite relevant to the 49ers and Raiders due to their position at the top of the draft order. There are rumors abound that Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray is the odds-on favorite to go first overall, and Ohio State signal-caller Dwayne Haskins is expected to go very high as well.

[RELATED: Report: Murray to Cardinals with No. 1 pick is 'done deal']

The more QB-needy teams there are come draft time, the better position the 49ers and/or Raiders would be in to exact a high price in a trade back with one of those teams.

With Foles reportedly heading to Jacksonville at the start of free agency, that's likely one fewer potential trade partner to take advantage of.