Raiders Draft Outlook: Quarterback

Despite having three quarterbacks on their roster, the Raiders might consider adding another through the draft. However, whether or not that happens will depend on the validity of recent rumors involving a trade with the Eagles for six-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb.

The Raiders have three quarterbacks on their roster, all with starting experience from the previous year. Former number one overall pick JaMarcus Russell has been an utter disappointment in his first three seasons and might very well be facing his last season in Oakland if he doesn't turn things around quickly. Bruce Gradkowski was impressive in leading the team to wins over the Bengals and Steelers, but he isn't seen as a long-term solution at the position, and Charlie Frye is really just a capable backup who finds himself pushed to the forefront of a deficient quarterback situation.

With that said, the Raiders might not be looking at a quarterback in this upcoming draft if the recent talk of Donovan McNabb coming to Oakland holds true. The Eagles are looking to get rid of McNabb before the draft and the Raiders just might have what they want in return—a top 42 pick. There are some very recent reports that say the Eagles and Raiders are not as close to a deal as it has been speculated, but if the Raiders were to acquire McNabb, the team is unlikely to use a draft pick on a quarterback.

If the McNabb deal falls through, however, the team might seriously take a look at bringing in another quarterback to compete with the current trio. The two elite guys Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen will likely be gone when the Raiders choose at number eight, but even if they were available, the team doesn't want to pay another quarterback first round money and also, the pick is better suited for more pressing needs along the offensive or defensive line.

After those two, the wild card is former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. Tebow has been speculated in various mock drafts as high as the first around but low as the third in others. While Tebow's attitude would be a refreshing sight in Oakland, he is a far cry from what Raider fans are used to seeing at the quarterback spot in terms of persona, and of course, the questions of his ability to play the position at this level, whether merited or not, should be enough for the Raiders to steer clear of Tebow.

In truth, even though the Raiders need some help at quarterback, their other needs are more pressing enough that they can afford to hold off on a signal caller until the third or fourth round. At that stage, the names available won't have the same star power of a Tebow, Bradford, Clausen, or McCoy, and probably not even a Dan LeFevour.

The names Raider fans might want to look out for are Tony Pike, Jevan Snead, and Sean Canfield.

Pike probably projects the best among the three and is expected to go somewhere in the second or third rounds. He had a stellar senior season at Cincinnati, and has the size and arm strength the Raiders covet in their quarterbacks. However, what might hurt Pike's case with the Raiders is his poor showing at the Senior Bowl, and a subpar performance at the Combine.

While Pike might project the best as being the best overall package, Jevan Snead is an intriguing prospect because of his raw skill and higher ceiling. Snead originally committed to Texas as a highly ranked quarterback, but transferred to Ole Miss where he had a less than stellar career. Despite this, Snead is going into the draft on natural ability, and quarterback starved teams will always take notice to a guy of his skills.

Snead is an above average athlete at 6-3, 220-lbs. Although his mechanics are raw and his delivery can use some work, scouts love his arm strength and ability to throw the deep ball. Snead would be a project and would require a year of maturation before he could really contribute, but there is that scenario where if the Raiders brought in McNabb knowing that he might bolt after one season, they might be willing to use a third round pick on Snead for insurance.

Sean Canfield might be the most polished of the aforementioned three, but he comes with some baggage. Canfield has a detailed injury history and it's a result of those injuries that he failed to produce the career numbers that pro teams like. Still, Canfield is well coached and mechanically sound. He might not be the same athlete or have the arm strength of either Snead or Pike, but he does a good job of making decisions and keeping his cool in the pocket.

Other quarterbacks projected third round or lower:

John Skelton (Fordham)

Mike Kafka (Northwestern)

Jonathan Crompton (Tennessee)

Tim Hiller (Western Michigan)

Zac Robinson (Oklahoma State)

Max Hall (BYU)

Ryan Perrilloux (Jacksonville State)

Bill Stull (Pittsburgh)

Juice Williams (Illinois)

Daryll Clark (Penn State)

Rusty Smith (Florida Atlantic)

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