With two first-round picks and Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota as their top two quarterbacks, the Las Vegas Raiders appear in the eyes of many to be prime candidates to go for a quarterback at this month’s draft.
NFL Football – Oakland Raiders v Chicago Bears – NFL International Series – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain – October 6, 2019 Oakland Raiders’ Derek Carr gestures Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers
However, general manager Mike Mayock tried to downplay that chatter on Tuesday, saying on a conference call he likes what he has behind center.
“We’re excited about the quarterback room,” Mayock said during the call. “I thought Marcus did a great job with the first couple of interviews he had just talking about where he was. He wants to support Derek. He wants to become the best version of Marcus Mariota that he can become, and that’s how we look at it.
“Let’s see who the best Marcus Mariota is, and in the meantime, we love what we have in Derek Carr. We’re really happy with our quarterback room.”
The same cannot be said for Mayock’s thoughts on the wide receiver room, however.
“(It’s) no secret that we need to get better at wideout,” Mayock said.
And this year’s draft is considered to have plenty of talent and depth at receiver. Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III, Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb and LSU’s Justin Jefferson sit atop the class on most people’s draft boards.
There is a likelihood that at least one of those four will be available when the Raiders select at No. 12 on April 23. Las Vegas also has the No. 19 pick from the Chicago Bears, part of the Khalil Mack trade in 2018.
The Raiders’ leading receiver last season was tight end Darren Waller, led the team in receptions (90) and receiving yards (1,145). Rookie slot receiver Hunter Renfrow was second on the team with 49 receptions, followed by Tyrell Williams with 42 grabs.
Williams also led the team with six touchdown catches. Rookie tight end Foster Moreau had five touchdowns catches, and Renfrow had four, and Waller had three.
Carr, 29, amassed a career-high 4,054 passing yards last season, throwing 21 touchdown passes and eight interceptions. He also finished with a triple-digit passer rating (100.8) for the first time in his career.
A second-round pick by the Raiders in 2014, Carr has thrown for 22,793 yards with 143 touchdowns and 62 interceptions in six seasons, missing only two games in that time.
The club signed Mariota, 26, as a free agent this offseason. The No. 2 overall pick in 2015 had an up-and-down five seasons for Tennessee but was benched last season for Ryan Tannehill, who went 7-3 after taking over and led the Titans to the AFC Championship Game. Tennessee signed Tannehill to a four-year, $118 million extension last month, making Mariota expendable.
—Field Level Media