Quarterback is the most influential and important position in the NFL. The Oakland Raiders are in need of finding a long term solution to the position. In 2014, the Raiders quarterback position will likely look very different. They have the fifth selection in the 2014 NFL Draft and a plethora of salary cap space to upgrade the position.
In 2013, Oakland started the season with Terrelle Pryor under center. Pryor had some very good moments and showed some development. However, as the season progressed he never took the next step throwing the football. The Raiders didn't do him any favors putting him on the bench for six games in favor of Matt McGloin. Pryor is an electric running quarterback, but his accuracy is not NFL caliber. He finished the season with a 3-5 record as the starter. He completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 1,798 yards, seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He was sacked 31 times which was a result of a battered offensive line and his propensity to hold the ball and try to scramble his way out of pressure. He added a franchise record for Raiders' quarterbacks with 576 yards rushing and two more scores.
McGloin took over for Pryor when he suffered a knee injury and beat the Houston Texans in his first career start. The undrafted rookie free agent rose all the way from training camp arm to starting quarterback. McGloin fared well in his first game tossing three touchdown passes. However, his inexperience and defensive adjustments caught up to him in his next five starts which were all games the Raiders lost. He played well at times, but became too careless with the football. His final numbers included a 55.9 completion percentage for 1,547 yards, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. He was sacked only six times in as many starts while recording a 1-5 record as the starter.
Oakland should feel very good about having both McGloin and Pryor in their quarterback stable. Both guys showed toughness and development as they grinded through their first year of starting games in the NFL. However, they are not the franchise quarterback the Raiders need. They are both above average back-up quarterbacks who the team could use due to injury. They can both spell a starter and win games or salvage a season. They both have a long way to go as far as being polished quarterbacks so they could learn as the number two and three guys. Both McGloin and Pryor are under 1 million in base salary so it makes sense financially to keep them. Let them stay and improve.
After back to back 4-12 seasons, both head coach Dennis Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie are on the hot seat heading into next season. They have had salary cap situations to clear as well as the inability to add big time players to the roster. That all changes this offseason when they are flush with cap room and will be tasked with improving this roster immensely. With names like Michael Vick and Chad Henne headlining the group of free agent quarterbacks available, the 2014 NFL Draft looks like the mostly likely avenue for the Raiders to find their future quarterback. Trent Edwards, who the Raiders signed to a reserve/futures contract, is nothing more than a training camp arm with an opportunity to show more.
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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, Chad Henne, Dennis Allen, Football, Matt McGloin, Michael Vick, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders, Reggie McKenzie, Terrelle Pryor, Trent Edwards