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ALAMEDA -- After one day and one round, Derek Carr is still on the NFL draft board. The quarterback from Fresno State wasn’t selected on Thursday night, when a trio of quarterbacks were taken in the Top 32. Only one was taken in the Top 20.
That leaves lots of passing talent up for grabs. That includes Carr, whom the Raiders like a great deal. Owner Mark Davis likes the native Californian. So do his football people.
Whether they jump at the chance to take him if available at No. 36 overall remains in question. So does the exact point the Raiders will take a quarterback. Could be as early as the second round, as late as the fourth. Or, just maybe, not at all.
You all know my feeling on the matter. I think the Raiders should focus on other needs, and go for as many immediate impact position players as possible. In no way is that a prediction. Just my line of thinking.
Quarterback is the true wild card of this draft. They already have a starter in veteran Matt Schaub. They need a long-term solution to groom. That could come from this draft.
“There’s an opportunity for that, yes,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said Thursday night.
They have several options, including Carr. The Houston Texans still need a quarterback and draft first at No. 33, but it’s tough to imagine Houston taking Derek Carr after David Carr was a relative bust as the No. 1 pick 2002.
Will the Raiders take Derek? It’s a real possibility. So is the possibility of waiting until later in the draft. The advantage of having just three quarterbacks taken in the first round is that it theoretically pushes all talent deeper down the draft board.
If the Raiders go for a quarterback, it could happen Friday. Here are some quarterbacks to keep an eye on during the draft’s second day:
Derek Carr, Fresno State: The Raiders would have to swoop in fast. There’s even a possibility that some team trades up to get him before No. 36.
Tom Savage, Pittsburgh: A tough, strong-armed pocket passer who could fit in well with the Raiders offense. Still a developmental project, Savage is a realistic possibility for the Raiders on Day 2.
Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois: Savvy, smart passer impressed during the pre-draft process. Projected to be a second-round pick.
A.J. McCarron, Alabama: Doesn’t have an elite arm, but he could be a solid game manager who passes well in the clutch. Smart player and a good leader. Projected to be a third-round pick.
Zach Mettenberger, LSU: Mettenberger has a strong arm and good size, but recent health issues have set him back.