In this upcoming draft, the Oakland Raiders have 11 draft picks throughout the seven rounds. This can be attributed to the incompetence, or perhaps secret genius, of ownership trading away their best players for draft picks. So, the Raiders have traded talent for prospects and now they have to recoup that talent. Pick a position out of a bucket and there’s a good chance the Raiders need help there. Pass rusher? Of course, they just traded their best one. Cornerback? The Raiders defense couldn’t cover their own eyes in a blindfold store. Now, while the Raiders have several needs on both the offensive and defensive sides, the Raiders’ first pick, the fourth pick overall, should without a doubt be Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray.
The Oakland Raiders Should Select Kyler Murray
Low Risk, High Reward
“The Raiders should draft Kyler Murray”, I say as the audience throws tomatoes at me. Alright, I understand the apprehension. He’s extremely explosive, but is his size a factor? After all, he’s only 5’9” and even looks small for 5’9”. But that doesn’t matter. “Looking small” should not hold a player of this caliber back from success. If the Raiders have the opportunity to draft Kyler Murray, they have to roll the dice and draft him. The risk/reward factor for Murray is ideal because if he’s a bust: 1) This pick is only the first of three the Raiders have in the first round, and 2) this year’s draft has noticeably less talent than future draft classes, so if the Raiders whiff this pick it won’t be a backbreaker. On the other hand, if Murray comes in exactly as advertised and is explosive as ever, the Raiders may have just turned their franchise around. The supplemental pieces this team needs can be found further down the draft chart, but the explosiveness and potential Murray has might be once in a generation.
Derek Carr is not the Chosen One
Now, some Raider fans may see this and think, “Why do we need Kyler Murray if we have Derek Carr?”, and I understand. Derek Carr led Oakland to its first playoff appearance in over a decade and a half, but that doesn’t matter. That was over two years ago and Raiders’ fans can’t continue to dwell in the past. Over the last two seasons, Carr has looked like a shell of himself. He’s less explosive on the field and his leadership looks like it’s diminishing after every snap. Early career success should not distract the good people of Oakland from realizing that Carr isn’t a Super Bowl caliber quarterback. Carr may not be terrible, but he certainly isn’t bringing the Raiders to another level. From what we’ve seen, Murray has a great shot at bringing this franchise back to its winning roots. In just 14 games, Murray had over 4,300 yards passing, 1,000 yards rushing, and 42 TD’s versus just 7 interceptions.
Gruden Has Proved Himself Before
Jon Gruden has shown before that he can be a quarterback whisperer and an offensive guru. Jon Gruden took Rich Gannon, who for the 11 years prior couldn’t win 9 games or throw more than 20 TD’s in a year, and made him into a Pro Bowl quarterback. Gannon was voted to four Pro Bowls, won the MVP award, and even had a Super Bowl appearance during his time under Gruden. If Jon Gruden can mold a mid tier quarterback like Gannon into a winner, imagine the magic that could be made with a prospect like Murray. If given the chance, the Oakland Raiders must absolutely draft Kyler Murray.
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