Jon Gruden

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Raiders pick North Dakota State QB Trey Lance


2021 NFL Mock Draft: Raiders pick North Dakota State QB Trey Lance

Is there room in Las Vegas for yet another quarterback? Maybe.

In a 2021 NFL Mock Draft by CBS Sports, writer R.J. White has the Raiders selecting North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 12 overall pick in the first round. 

The keyword White uses here is “upside,” and that word is synonymous with Jon Gruden’s offensive strategy. He wants it all.

But what would that mean with who they have right now? 

[RAIDERS TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Derek Carr holds that top spot, and despite the rumors of him and Gruden not seeing eye-to-eye, the two apparently get along swimmingly. Naturally, sometimes they’ll bump heads, but that’s standard.

Behind him is Marcus Mariota who has the experience and is a great leader. He also stands to push Carr to be a better quarterback. He’s signed through 2021 with Nathan Peterman, a Gruden favorite, rounding up the current squad.

For Carr, well, it could initially appear to be bad news for the QB who was booed off the field for the team’s final game in Oakland, but that might not be the case.

He sent a strong message to the haters after that happened, but the Mariota pressures could be a positive. He’s not going anywhere, but this could be a glimpse into the future. 

[RELATED: Carr sends message to the haters]

But … for the heck of it. Here’s a clip of Lance:

Carr gets a lot of hate. That was one of Pat McAfee’s questions when he spoke to former Raiders receiver Jordy Nelson recently. But he knows that’s all part of the package. Despite some rumors of trade talks during the combine, those appeared to have died down.

Jordy Nelson's status helped succeed Jon Gruden's 'system overload' offense

Jordy Nelson's status helped succeed Jon Gruden's 'system overload' offense

The offense itself might not have been different for Jordy Nelson to get the hang of when he came to the Raiders in 2018, but some of the verbiage was.

“That was one of the hard parts of trying to delete everything that we had in Green Bay,” Nelson said in an interview on The Pat McAfee Show. “I think with [Jon] Gruden, he adds so much week-to-week in a game plan that is completely different than the normal set of offense. He has his normal install that you would do, but then every week there’s a whole other downloaded system pretty much of ‘We’re going to run this against the Broncos -- and then next week against the Chiefs we’re going to run all of these.”

Nelson said there was a lot of new information that needed to be learned, but he managed OK. He comes from a Mike McCarthy offense that was up-tempo, but very quarterback/wide receiver friendly which could have made it simpler to maintain some of what Gruden was saying. After a decade with the same team, that could have proved tricky, but perhaps not with someone of Nelson’s status.

[RAIDERS TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Some of the younger guys could have been overwhelmed, Nelson admitted. Even saying there was an amount of “system overload.” And they didn’t have a guy like Kyle Shanahan who worked as a middle man of sorts with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in the day. 

Sometimes details would even get lost as NBC Sports’ Chris Simms said in an interview. Simms played under Gruden and admitted that the coach was “a psycho,” but in a good way, of course.

[RELATED: Nelson believes Derek Carr, Gruden have strong bond]

Gruden is a guy who loves to embrace his Swiss Army Knife of an offense. 

Either way, it appeared the acquisition of Nelson turned out well. Not only because he works well with seasoned quarterbacks, but it wasn’t a high-maintenance add. He was able to pick up the playbook relatively quickly.

Ex-Raider Jordy Nelson vows Jon Gruden, Derek Carr have strong bond


Ex-Raider Jordy Nelson vows Jon Gruden, Derek Carr have strong bond

There always were questions surrounding the relationship of Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and his quarterback Derek Carr. The two getting along was the main inquiry for those on the outside. 

Former Raiders wide receiver Jordy Nelson (2018) said they get along just fine despite those negative rumors.

“I think their two demeanors and personalities might clash but they honestly get along great,” Nelson said in an interview with Pat McAfee. “I mean, it’s a good balance. There’s a couple of times when I was there they got a little fiery at each other, but you know, that happens with everyone. Especially when you’re coming right off the field. ... One thing I think that works great with those two, like I said earlier, Derek is extremely smart and puts in so much time and work that he can handle everything that Gruden’s throwing at him.”

[RAIDERS TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

The 2014 Pro Bowl selection had enough experience across his 11 NFL seasons to notice how leaders get along. He played under Aaron Rodgers for a decade and they had a very strong connection, one that didn’t require words.

Carr always has believed the quarterback, in addition to the head coach, owner and general manager always need to be on the same page. That’s a lot of personalities needing to agree on something, so the clashing that would occur is no surprise.

Nelson wasn’t the only former teammate who noticed the chemistry between the QB and the coach.

Ex-Raider Darren Waller said in the past on the Raider Cody Podcast that he noticed it as well. He added he’s not sure why the relationship between the two gets so much hate and so much unneeded attention.

[RELATED: Nelson compares Carr's Raider time to Alex Smith 49ers' tenure]

Gruden has more of a personality, he’s animated. Carr has more of a calm demeanor. Those even one another out which typically equals success. Not to mention Carr has had to adjust to a different offense each season as opposed to other quarterbacks who run the same playbook year after year. This time around, he gets to stick to what he knows. At least when it comes to the playbook.

The Raiders will be hosting their home games in Southern Nevada at Allegiant Stadium after the team relocated to Las Vegas this offseason.