Monday, January 23, 2017

Where does Derek Carr stand among the drafted QBs?

Derek Carr was the Raiders' second-round pick in 2014. Photo by Bob Carr Photography; used with permission.

Much of the Raiders' resurgence in 2016 was attributed to star quarterback Derek Carr, who was an MVP candidate before a late-season injury cut his year short and short-circuited the team's playoff hopes.

Much has also been made of the fact that Carr was a second-round draft choice in 2014, the fourth quarterback taken that year. And although Blake Bortles, chosen 3rd overall, and Teddy Bridgewater, chosen 32nd overall, have had their moments, neither has reached the heights of Carr, chosen 36th overall. And Johnny Manziel, chosen at No. 22, has been an unmitigated bust.

Yet, little has been made of the fact that the Raiders, quite frankly, have been terrible at drafting quarterbacks. Their best passers, in fact, have been retreads such as Rich Gannon and Jim Plunkett, both signed as street free agents after earlier struggles.

And while new Hall of Famer Ken Stabler was, like Carr, a homegrown second-round draft pick, he wasn't even the first quarterback the Raiders chose in his draft year.


Many years, on the other hand, the Raiders haven't chosen a quarterback at all. And both times in its history that the team had the No. 1 overall pick in a draft, it got little to no production from the quarterback it chose.

Take a look at the Raiders' history of drafting quarterbacks.

Year Round Overall Quarterback Years w/Raid. Assessment
2016 4 100 Connor Cook, Mich. St. 2016* Prospect
2014 2 36 Derek Carr, Fresno St. 2014-16* Pro Bowl 3-yr. starter
2013 4 112 Tyler Wilson, Ark. 2013 (PS) Didn't make team
2011 SD3 n/a Terrelle Pryor, Ohio St. 2011-13 Mediocre 1-yr. PT starter
2007 1 1 JaMarcus Russell, LSU 2007-09 Mediocre 2-yr. starter/PT st.
2005 3 69 Andrew Walter, AZ St. 2005-08 Poor 1-yr. PT starter
2002 7 235 Ronald Curry, UNC 2002-08 Moved to WR
2001 2 59 Marques Tuiasosopo, Wash. 2001-06, '08 Career backup
1993 3 58 Billy Joe Hobert, Wash. 1993-96 Career backup
1991 1 24 Todd Marinovich, USC 1991-92 Mediocre 1-yr. PT starter
1990 12 317 Major Harris, W. Va.
Did not sign
1989 6 140 Jeff Francis, Tenn.
Didn't make team
1988 11 283 David Weber, Carroll
Didn't make team
1987 4 110 Steve Beuerlein, Notre Dame 1987-90 Mediocre 2-yr. PT starter
1985 6 143 Rusty Hilger, OK St. 1985-87 Career backup
1984 12 336 Randy Essington, Colo.
Didn't make team
1983 11 333 Scott Lindquist, N. AZ
Didn't make team
1980 1 15 Marc Wilson, BYU 1980-87 Solid 5-yr. starter/PT st.
1976 2 50 Jeb Blount, Tulsa 1976 (IR) Didn't make team
1975 5 128 David Humm, Neb. 1975-79, '83-84 Career backup
1975 9 232 Harry Knight, Richmond
Didn't make team
1973 8 205 Mike Rae, USC 1976-78 Career backup
1968 1 25 Eldridge Dickey, Tenn. St. 1968-71 Moved to WR
1968 2 52 Ken Stabler, Ala. 1968-79 Hall of Fame 7-yr. starter
1967 6 155 Rick Egloff, Wyo.
Didn't make team
1966 RS11 n/a Mike Brundage, Ore.
Didn't make team
1965 10 75 Craig Morton, Cal.
Did not sign
1964 11 87 Larry Rakestraw, Georgia
Did not sign
1964 12 95 Billy Lothridge, Ga. Tech
Did not sign
1964 18 143 Ron Calcagno, Santa Clara
Did not sign
1964 26 207 Gordon Guest, Ark.
Did not sign
1963 23 177 Jon Anabo, Fresno St.
Did not sign
1963 26 201 Dennis Claridge, Neb.
Did not sign
1962 1 1 Roman Gabriel, N.C. St.
Did not sign
1962 19 145 Dennis Spurlock, Whitworth
Did not sign
1961 5 36 Dick Norman, Stanford
Did not sign
1961 9 68 Lowndes Shingler, Clemson
Did not sign
1961 21 164 Mike Jones, San Jose St.
Did not sign
1961 28 220 Dave Grosz, Ore.
Did not sign
1960 1st n/a Fran Curci, Miami
Did not sign
1960 1st n/a Dale Hackbart, Wis.
Did not sign
1960 1st n/a Bobby Lackey, Texas
Did not sign
1960 2nd n/a Sam McCord, E. Tex. St.
Didn't make team
* = Still on roster as of January 2017.

If there is one trend suggested by the above list, it's this: If there is one thing less productive than a quarterback chosen by the Raiders in the first round, it's — excepting Carr and Stabler — a quarterback chosen by the Raiders in the second, third or fourth rounds.

Note, too, that the team does not always seem particularly interested in drafting quarterbacks. After choosing one virtually every year from 1983 through 1991, the Raiders chose only two (plus one moved to wide receiver) in the next 14 years. And both of those relatively high draft picks spent their Raider careers as backups.

(In fairness, maybe spending a first-round pick on Todd Marinovich would discourage any team from drafting quarterbacks for a while.)

Finally, in an organization noted for diversity, the Raiders were the first team to choose an African-American quarterback in the first round, Eldridge Dickey in 1968 (although he was eventually moved to wide receiver). The quarterback they took in the second round that year? Ken Stabler.

One more footnote about Stabler and Dickey: They were actually the first quarterbacks drafted by the Raiders to actually play for the team. Most of their predecessors had either not signed — given the rivalry between the NFL and AFL for players — or had been cut.

Sources: Oakland Raiders media guides, Ourlads' NFL Scouting Services draft publications, Wikipedia

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