All indications are that Kyler Murray will be the first overall pick, and in all likelihood, by the Cardinals, who took quarterback Josh Rosen 10th overall a year ago. Of course, this could be all part of some elaborate plan; the Cardinals could really be looking to stockpile picks, trade down and rebuild a team that managed just three wins in 2018. And if that’s what’s happening, then the question becomes: Which team would move up for Murray?
The Raiders are the most obvious choice; they have four of the first 35 picks, including selections No. 4, No. 24 and No. 27. And while coach Jon Gruden has publicly supported incumbent Derek Carr, the team will hold a private workout for Murray and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, according to NBC Bay Area’s Scott Bair, who added that Oakland visited both players at their respective pro days too.
But the Raiders insist that you shouldn’t read anything into it — it’s all part of the pre-draft evaluation process.
“Information is gold, and it always will be,” general manager Mike Mayock said last week at NFL owners meeting. “We all know that Jon Gruden is a quarterback guy. Jon’s going to evaluate every quarterback out there every single year. That’s just who he is. …
“Derek Carr is a franchise quarterback. I do believe that,” Mayock continued. “We had Drew Lock at the Senior Bowl. He’s a potential first-round pick and we got to work with him for a week. We did our due diligence. We’re going to see Kyler Murray and we’re going to see Haskins (in private workouts). We believe they’re high-level quarterbacks, and that’s due diligence. You’d better know how good these guys are. You’d better know what other teams are interested in, and whether or not you can improve your own position. That’s part of what a head coach and GM do, to evaluate every position on your football team. You owe it to your team to do the best job you can and upgrade where you can. But, and I said this back at the NFL combine: I don’t think there are very many people who are better than Derek Carr.”
Gruden reiterated as much in an interview with NFL Network.
“He’s going to be our quarterback,” he told Jim Trotter. “I’m not going to address all of the rumors. I could care less about the rumors. He threw for 4,100 yards, threw for almost 70 percent (completions) in a very dire, tough circumstance. So I have a lot of confidence in Carr, what he can do with Antonio Brown, with Tyrell Williams, with Trent Brown coming in here to help our offensive line, with a better defense. Yeah, I’m excited about Carr.”
We don’t think the Raiders would trade up to No. 1 to get Murray, but things get interesting if Murray is inexplicably on the board at No. 4. Then we’d see just how much Gruden was all in on Carr. More likely, however, is that Oakland addresses needs on defense.
— a three-rounder — we have the Raiders taking linebacker Devin White at No. 4, edge rusher Clelin Ferrell at No. 24 and cornerback Greedy Williams at No. 27. And at No. 35 they get running back Josh Jacobs.