NFL Nation: Matt McGloin

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders' offseason workouts began on April 22. They concluded Thursday with the end of a mandatory three-day minicamp.

So what did Dennis Allen, entering his third season as the Raiders' head coach, glean from nearly two months of being around his team as it begins its reconstruction in earnest, especially with training camp about five weeks away?

Consider: Every Raiders draft pick is signed and every Raiders player under contract was in attendance for the minicamp. No contract haggling, squabbling or unnecessary drama.

"I like the direction we're headed as a football team," Allen said. "I think we've got a group of guys that are committed to winning. I think they're committed to this organization, and I think we have a lot of guys who have a lot to prove. That's an exciting thing for a football coach. That's an exciting thing for these football players.

"So I like our direction, I like our commitment and we've just got to keep working."

An infusion of veteran talent with past success, especially on the defensive side of the ball, such as Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley and Antonio Smith -- as well as Oakland taking linebacker Khalil Mack with the No. 5 overall draft pick -- has given the team a new identity.

And on offense, the Raiders have a seasoned, new quarterback in Matt Schaub and a hot prospect in second-round draft pick Derek Carr, who has overtaken Matt McGloin as Oakland's second-string signal-caller.

Injury-wise, guard Lucas Nix (knee) is the only player Allen sees as potentially missing the start of training camp, even though cornerback D.J. Hayden (foot) participated in just one organized team activities (OTAs) session and linebacker Kevin Burnett (ankle) and Smith (undisclosed) missed them all while recovering from injuries.

Allen was asked if there was a palpable feel on the practice field that this was, indeed, a better team than he had the previous two years.

"I don't think there's any question you can feel that," Allen said. "You guys have been around here too, so I think you've seen these practices around here for a while.

"I think we've had an outstanding offseason and I think our team from the day that we started the offseason program to where we're at now, we've improved tremendously. But we've still got to go out there and do it when we get to training camp and do it when we get to the regular season."
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What should the Raiders do with their 2nd-round pick (No. 36 overall)?

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Discuss (Total votes: 3,379)

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders have the fourth selection Friday (No. 36 overall) to begin the second round of the NFL draft and many see them striking with Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr.

It would make sense in that he could use a year or two to learn at the knee of starter Matt Schaub, but with the Raiders liking their current QB room of Schaub, Matt McGloin and Trent Edwards, it might even be more sensible to draft for immediate need. Or, to simply trade back for more picks since the Raiders are barren in the fifth and sixth rounds.

The Raiders seemingly nailed it with an impact player in drafting linebacker Khalil Mack in the first round at No. 5 overall. Might there be another such immediate impact player to be unearthed at No. 36?

Since Oakland did take a defensive player first, we’ve constructed a fan poll with solely offensive positions/players for you to vote on. But there are also some potential difference-makers on the defensive side of the ball the Raiders could eye early today, such as defensive tackles Louis Nix III, Ra’Shede Hageman and Timmy Jernigan, and cornerbacks Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Keith McGill and Phillip Gaines.

Vote for which position group you think the Raiders should target with their second-round pick.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Minutes after selecting Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack with the fifth pick of the 2014 NFL draft, Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was asked if he thought his quarterback of the future might still be available.

Mind you, this was when Blake Bortles had been the only quarterback taken.

“Yes,” McKenzie said softly, “there’s an opportunity for that. Yes.”

[+] EnlargeDerek Carr
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty ImagesDerek Carr passed for 5,082 yards with 50 TDs and eight interceptions in 13 starts last season.
So by the time the dust cleared on the first round Thursday night, Bortles, who was taken third overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars, was joined by Johnny Manziel, who fell to 22nd and the Cleveland Browns, and Teddy Bridgewater, who went 32nd in the final pick of the night to the Minnesota Vikings, who traded up to get him.

Might Fresno State’s Derek Carr, who has long been linked to the Raiders, still be on the docket when Oakland is scheduled to make the fourth pick of the night, No. 36 overall, or will the Houston Texans, who badly need a quarterback and lead off the second round, make it a family affair by drafting the younger brother of the man they made the first overall pick in 2002, David Carr?

From the Raiders’ perspective, it’s no secret they believe they are set with Matt Schaub for at least the next two years, and they even feel comfortable with backups Matt McGloin and Trent Edwards. But the feeling is also they would like to draft a project in the middle rounds, someone like Pittsburgh’s Tom Savage. Currently, the Raiders’ fourth-round pick is at No. 107 overall.

One plausible scenario has the Raiders, who do not have picks in the fifth or sixth rounds but hold three in the seventh, trading back in the second round to acquire more selections, especially if they are not truly in love with a player at No. 4 in the second round today.

McKenzie, though, said “no deal was presented, only interest” for the No. 5 overall pick on Thursday. With it not clear if there will be a market today for the Raiders’ second-rounder, they have options.

Mack certainly addressed a need and was the best player available as well.

So, besides Carr, who passed for 5,082 yards with 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions and completed 68.7 percent of his passes in 13 starts last season, who is a potential target for the Raiders in the second round?

Here is a look at five possible prospects:

USC receiver Marqise Lee was the 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner as a sophomore, but had a down junior year. At just under 6-foot and 192 pounds, there are questions about his durability, but he is a playmaker after the catch.

Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio is massive at 6-7, 321 pounds, but there are concerns about his surgically repaied knee. He is considered an ideal fit to work in a power-blocking scheme.

Minnesota defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman is a disruptive if inconsistent force at a tick under 6-6 and 310 pounds. His athleticism might force a move to defensive end.

Utah cornerback Keith McGill is big at 6-3, 213 pounds, and his long arms make him an ideal fit for press coverage. Still, he only had one interception in two seasons for the Utes.

Nebraska cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste is also big for the position at 6-3, 218 pounds and had seven interceptions in 19 starts for the Cornhuskers.
Surprised that Terrelle Pryor has been let go by the Oakland Raiders? You shouldn’t be. Not if you were reading the Silver and Black tea leaves.

At least the Raiders were able to get something in return by working out a trade with the Seattle Seahawks. Otherwise, Oakland faced the prospect of merely cutting Pryor loose with no return on Al Davis’ final draft pick.

Or, as one league source wondered Monday afternoon, “Would you want him?”

[+] EnlargeOakland's Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor
AP Photo/Tony AvelarThe Raiders replaced quarterback Terrelle Pryor with Matt McGloin once teams began to figure out Pryor.
The Raiders will receive a seventh-round pick from Seattle and now have seven picks again -- Nos. 5, 36, 67, 107, 219, 235 and 247 -- in the upcoming NFL draft.

Now, this is not meant as a slam on Pryor. Not at all. You cannot question his work ethic. His decision-making on the field? Sure. His blonde locks of late that tweaked the Raiders, even if he was merely following through on a lost bet? Absolutely.

But it has been painfully obvious since last summer that the Raiders, for lack of a better term, have not liked Pryor as a quarterback. At least, not as their quarterback.

Not even after he started nine of 11 games and finished with 1,798 passing yards in completing 57.4 percent of his passes. He had seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions while setting a franchise rushing record for a quarterback with 576 yards. His total QB rating of 30.5 was third-lowest in the NFL among qualified quarterbacks last season.

Sure, Pryor won the starting gig last preseason over Matt Flynn, but with Flynn’s arm hurting and Oakland’s offensive line leaking like a sieve at the time, the more mobile Pryor simply gave the Raiders their best chance at success.

And he was more than exciting, his NFL record-for-a-quarterback 93-yard touchdown run in Week 8 against the Pittsburgh Steelers serving as his apex for the Raiders.

But when opponents began figuring him out -- he likes to roll out to his right -- his success quickly diminished. A sprained knee and what many in the organization saw as a pouting act following a loss at the New York Giants sent Pryor to the bench in favor of an undrafted rookie whose skillset -- a more polished, pure dropback passer -- better fit the type of offense the Raiders wanted to run.

Matt McGloin is not the answer, either. That’s why the Raiders traded for a veteran, Matt Schaub, to run their offense.

It was just another sign that Pryor was on the Raiders’ backburner -- if they were keeping him warm at all. He is liked in the organization well enough, but he would frustrate many with his improvisational ways and how he would often take to social media and the traditional media to get his message across as a pseudo QB of the People.

He works hard. He’s giving away a coffee machine and, well, he works hard.

From Day 1, I compared Pryor to Tim Tebow, rather than the likes of Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson.

You have to wonder, though, if Pryor will have a similar NFL fate to Tebow's.

Now, though, he’ll ostensibly learn at the knee of Wilson. And, oh yes, the Raiders play at Seattle this coming season.
So, you already knew that the recently acquired Matt Schaub was earmarked to be the Oakland Raiders' starting quarterback this season. And while neither Terrelle Pryor nor his fans should be happy about that development, what coach Dennis Allen told reporters Tuesday will perk up more than a few ears.

Schaub
Schaub
"We have a quarterback now," Allen said at the NFL owners meetings, per the Bay Area News Group, "that's on par with the quarterbacks in the division."

Got it?

Shaub = Kansas City's Alex Smith. Sure.

Shaub = San Diego's Philip Rivers. Meh.

Shaub = Denver's Peyton Manning. Um ...

If nothing else, Allen is a glass-half-full kind of guy. He has to be. After consecutive 4-12 seasons in which his teams folded spectacularly down the stretch both times, Allen knows this is a make-or-break type of year in which the Raiders need to show improvement.

And for the purposes of this discussion, it all begins under center ... with a new quarterback who is a two-time Pro Bowler coming off a nightmarish season. So what kind of quarterback does Allen prefer, exactly?

"Guys that can move the team down the field, guys who can put points on the board," Allen said. "I think there's certain qualities you look at in the quarterbacks that have been able to be successful over the years. I'm talking about guys like Drew Brees, who I was with [in New Orleans]. I'm talking about guys like Peyton Manning. I'm talking about guys like Tom Brady. Guys [whose] work ethic is unmatched; they're the first ones in the building, they're the last one to leave.

"They have the ability to process information quickly and they can throw the ball with timing and accuracy. And those are the things you have to be able to do to play the quarterback position."

And water is wet.

Of course, that's the goal of every team -- to find a franchise quarterback. It's been a tortuous journey for the Raiders the past three years as they've used first- and second-round picks (Carson Palmer), a third-round supplemental pick (Pryor), a fourth-round pick (Tyler Wilson) a fifth-round pick (Matt Flynn) and now a sixth-rounder (Schaub) in their search for a savior.

The new regime of Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie is responsible for the last three on the list.

"It's pretty obvious that we feel good about Matt Schaub as our starting quarterback," Allen said. "We feel comfortable with Matt McGloin as a back up. But we'll see what happens in the next few days, next couple weeks.

"Everybody has down seasons. Everybody has down years. It's not a shame to get knocked down; it's a shame to not get back up. [Schaub] is a guy that's been a two-time Pro Bowl player, he's been a top 10 quarterback in the National Football League over the last five years and we believe, and he believes, that he's still that. And I don't think that changes overnight, I really don't."

Schaub had a career-worst total quarterback rating of 43.65 last season, losing his starting job midway through the season and throwing 14 interceptions, including a stretch of four straight games with a pick-6, with 10 touchdowns and a 61.1 completion percentage rate.

"Do I think he's going to have a little bit of a chip on his shoulder? Yeah, I really do," Allen said. "I think there's going to be a little bit of added incentive for him to kind of prove what he can do? Yeah, I think there will be, and I think that's a good thing."

Offseason Blueprint: Raiders

March, 4, 2014
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Looking for a blueprint for the Raiders’ offseason as they try to turn the corner after consecutive 4-12 seasons under general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen?

Our ESPN.com NFL Insiders have you covered Insider. With more than $60 million in salary cap space, to 18 scheduled unrestricted free agents, the Raiders have more than a few franchise-altering decisions to make. From finding a franchise quarterback (neither Terrelle Pryor nor Matt McGloin seem to be the answer) to looking at a potential starting lineup (is Mychal Rivera the truth at tight end?) to who the Raiders should target in free agency (Jared Allen, anyone?) to what they should do with the No. 5 overall pick (QB or DE, DE or QB?) to McKenzie’s top picks from a year ago needing to step up (are you listening, D.J. Hayden and Menelik Watson?). It’s all here.
Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen was asked Thursday at the NFL combine in Indianapolis if his 2014 starting quarterback was already on Oakland’s roster.

Manziel
Keep in mind, the Raiders currently have Terrelle Pryor, who started nine games last season, Matt McGloin, who started six, and veteran Trent Edwards, who last started an NFL game in 2010, under contract.

Allen’s response? “I don’t know the answer to that yet, you know what I mean? I think that’s obviously a position we’re going to look at to try to improve as well as any other position. But that’s obviously a position we have to [evaluate].

“The quarterback position is the backbone of your football team, and so we have to make sure that when we go out there this year that we’ve put ourselves in the best position to have success with the quarterback position.”

Then after reading between the lines and going over the silver and black tea leaves, the answer would be … no.

Which of course, brings us to this year’s crop of quarterbacks. You’ve got the big guns in Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, the intriguing guys in Fresno State’s Derek Carr and Alabama’s AJ McCarron and, of course, the biggest and most intriguing figure of all in the polarizing Johnny Manziel, by way of Texas A&M.

Now, the fact that Allen is a Texas A&M alum should give the Raiders a leg up in scouting Manziel to see if he’s worth the hype, let alone the No. 5 overall pick, right?

Yes, Allen was asked about his fellow Aggie.

“Obviously, he’s accomplished a lot at the collegiate level and has been a very good football player, being the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy,” Allen said. “I think that speaks in and of itself about how good a football player he is, so I think he’s a very talented football player. I think he is a multi-dimensional football player. I think he’s able to throw the ball. I think he’s able to throw the ball from the pocket, but he’s also able to create things with his feet.

“As we get more into the evaluation process, I think he’ll be a fun guy to really evaluate.”

NFLN survey/Super Bowl QB: Steelers

January, 29, 2014
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Tom Brady and Peyton Manning dominated ESPN’s NFL Nation survey of which quarterback players would most want if their respective teams needed a touchdown to win the Super Bowl with two minutes left in the game.

Brady (128) and Manning (86) combined to capture roughly two-thirds of the vote among the 320 players polled by ESPN’s NFL Nation.

Ben Roethlisberger received 20 votes to finish fifth among quarterbacks behind Brady, Manning, Aaron Rodgers (32) and Drew Brees (21).

Five of Roethlisberger’s votes came from teammates, a sign of how much his play at the end of close games is valued in the Steelers’ locker room.

Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to wins 33 times, including the postseason, in games in which they trailed or were tied in the fourth quarter. His most famous rally came in Super Bowl XLV five years ago when Roethlisberger marched the Steelers 78 yards in eight plays for the touchdown that beat the upstart Arizona Cardinals, 27-23.

Roethlisberger capped the drive with a 6-yard pass that Santonio Holmes snared with a tip-toe catch before getting pushed out of bounds. That play delivered the Steelers’ record sixth Super Bowl title and remains frozen in time for Pittsburgh fans.

Had I been granted a vote I would have thought long and hard before giving it to Brady over Roethlisberger, and I think you could flip a coin between the two quarterbacks who have won a combined five Super Bowls.

Roethlisberger’s improvisational skills and his burning desire to win have long made him one of the best quarterbacks when the game is on the line. He has delivered every time? Of course not. But neither has Brady, who has been outdueled late in the Patriots’ last two Super Bowl losses by Eli Manning.

Eli Manning received nine votes in the anonymous survey followed by Andrew Luck (eight) and Matthew Stafford (seven) and Russell Wilson (three).

The only other quarterback to receive more than one vote? Matt McGloin, who picked up two of them.

Draw your own conclusions there.

NFLN survey/Super Bowl QB: Raiders

January, 29, 2014
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No, the Tuck Rule was not a factor. Nor was Spygate. No matter, the New England Patriots' Tom Brady built up an impressive enough body of work to be voted the quarterback most players surveyed in our ESPN.com NFL Nation poll wanted under center at the two-minute warning with the Super Bowl on the line.

Of the more than 320 players polled anonymously, Brady received 128 votes to outdistance the Denver Broncos' Peyton Manning, who had 86 votes. Rounding out the top five -- Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers (32), New Orleans' Drew Brees (21) and Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger (20).

Fourteen quarterbacks received votes.

And while it may be tough for Raiders fans to celebrate Brady even 12 years after the Tuck Rule Game, he actually received the most votes in the Raiders locker room with three. Rodgers received two while Brees, Manning and Andrew Luck all received one.

Matt McGloin, though, also received two votes in the Oakland locker room as the poll was taken when the undrafted rookie was the Raiders' starter.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders traded away Carson Palmer after a 4,018-yard passing season in 2012 ... and he threw for a career-high 4,274 yards with the Arizona Cardinals in 2013.

The Raiders traded for Matt Flynn in hopes he would become a franchise quarterback ... and he washed out and was cut in October, after one start.

Oakland used a fourth-round draft pick to select Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson ... only to waive him twice, sign him to the practice squad twice and watch him leave when the Tennessee Titans picked him up.

[+] EnlargeOakland's Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor
AP Photo/Tony AvelarNeither Oakland coach Dennis Allen nor GM Reggie McKenzie is sure if the Raiders' QB of the future is on the roster.
With so much QB carnage in such a short amount of time, is general manager Reggie McKenzie confident in his staff's ability to identify and properly scout a quarterback?

"Yes I am," McKenzie said Thursday in a 45-minute sit down with six reporters who cover the team regularly.

The differing skill sets of Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin essentially split the season, and in his final media conference of the season coach Dennis Allen said he was not sure if the quarterback of the future was in the building.

I asked McKenzie if he shared Allen's view and, if so, how he attacks that shortcoming.

McKenzie nodded.

"I'm not sure either," he said. "We've got two young players who played this year (and) from an experience standpoint there wasn't any, so neither one of them stepped up and said, ‘I'm the franchise quarterback.' So absolutely, we're going to always continue to upgrade and find that guy. Now how we find them, we'll figure that out in the next few months, to what's available to us."

McKenzie allowed that with so much youth and inexperience under center last season, the Raiders need a veteran presence. And, perhaps, that is why they recently signed Trent Edwards to a reserve/future contract.

"He's a senior guy that's been there, done that," McKenzie said. "You're talking about what we have in place now, even around the building here in the next month or so, you've got a guy that our young guys can bounce stuff off of. And starting that process ASAP, I think, is important for the young guys."

That does not mean, however, that the Raiders are done tinkering with the position. Far from it. Not when the Raiders still have the No. 5 overall pick in May's draft.

Yes, McKenzie was asked about Texas A&M's polarizing Johnny Manziel.

"He's a playmaker," McKenzie said with a smile. "Whether it's him or whether it's any one of these other guys, when you can add a playmaker to your team that's what you're shooting for. Be it the draft, be it (a) free agent. It doesn't matter. And Johnny is a playmaker."

Still, McKenzie said he'd be reluctant to start a rookie quarterback again and would rather build the team up around one until he was ready to play.

"You have to make sure you surround those young players like that with good football players, whether it's weapons, protection from an offensive line standpoint, run game," McKenzie said. "If you're going to talk about playing a rookie, I think the fair way to do it is surround him (with talent), not just ride his shoulders. It's hard. I don't care how good the rookie is.

"To make him do everything his first year is not an easy task. You'd rather not. You'd rather have a guy in place who can get you through the season, especially the early part of the season."

Hence the addition of someone like an Edwards. And McKenzie said he has no true preference for a style of quarterback, be it a runner like Pryor, who rushed for a franchise single-season record 527 yards, including a 93-yard TD run that set an NFL record, or a pocket passer like McGloin, who had a QB rating of 76.1.

Still, neither Pryor, who started nine games and threw for 1,7,98 yards on 57.4 percent passing with 7 TDs and 11 INTs, nor McGloin, who was 1-5 as the starter, truly commandeering the job last season left room for introspection.

"With Terrelle I thought he started out pretty good," McKenzie said. "But it was the inconsistency and making the decisions, whether to throw, whether to run, avoid (the pass rush) and get rid of the ball. Whatever it is, that needs to continue to improve and he was too inconsistent there.

"Terrelle's got a ways to go with the decision making and the timing of throwing (to) guys (who are) open in that regard."

And McGloin, who completed 55.9 percent of his passes for 1,547 yards with 8 touchdowns and 8 interceptions in seven games?

"I thought he came in and I thought he did a pretty good job for what he was asked to do," McKenzie said. "He was confident in where he could throw the ball, his timing, his decision-making. Kind of sputtered a little bit, trying to throw the football when he shouldn't have.

"I thought McGloin showed some positive things that looked like a real quarterback from a standpoint of getting the ball out of his hands and, not being the greatest of mobile, moving, running guys, he didn't take a lot of sacks. So ... to be looked at as one of the non-athletic quarterbacks, per se, he did a good job of getting the ball out of his hand and not putting us in a negative yard-situation. So, you like some of the things there. If you can build on it and get better with the throws and the timing and all that, he should be solid."

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders need a quarterback, a certifiable quarterback of the future, as they say.

No disrespect to the Terrelle Pryor disciples or the Matt McGloin acolytes, but even coach Dennis Allen said he was not sure if said franchise QB was “in the building right now.”

And with Allen now assured of returning to Oakland for his third season, might he look to his alma mater for salvation in the form of a polarizing figure known simply as Johnny Football?

Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, as maddening as he is talented, has officially declared for the NFL draft, and the Raiders hold the No. 5 overall pick. And with Allen’s connections to College Station running deep, the Raiders probably have an upper hand in scouting the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. Which means the Raiders either making a run at Manziel or steering clear of him will say all you need to know about an Oakland background check.

Look, the 2014 win-now season in Oakland promises to be a fascinating study in survival. The Raiders have $60-plus million in salary-cap room to chase free agents, a full complement of draft choices to re-stock the roster, the assistants on Allen’s staff possibly on one-year contracts, with Allen most likely on a very short leash, and the pressure on general manager Reggie McKenzie to deliver a solid roster.

So what would Manziel, who had his share of off-the-field issues in college, add to the Raiders’ potentially volatile mix, besides his own brand of drama?

In two years at Texas A&M, he threw for a combined 7,820 yards and 63 touchdowns and rushed for 2,169 yards and 30 TDs and was the first freshman to win the Heisman, when he set the Southeastern Conference total offense record with 5,116 yards.

And this past season, he established a new Aggies single-season mark with 4,114 passing yards, falling just 11 yards short of becoming the first sophomore on any college campus to have 10,000 career yards.

Still, generously listed at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, he’s a bit small to play the brand of reckless abandon football in the NFL he excelled at in college.

“He possesses unique improvisational skills (his closest resemblance in that regard, at least in my lifetime, is to Doug Flutie) and has the quickness, speed and instincts as a runner/scrambler that make him a nightmare to bring down, both in the pocket and in the open field when he takes off,” wrote ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay, who had Manziel going to the Cleveland Browns at No. 4 in a recent mock draft.

McShay also had Manziel as his third-rated college QB, behind Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Central Florida’s Blake Bortles.

“Manziel has also shown significant improvement as a passer this season, displaying more of a comfort level when throwing from the pocket, improved arm strength as a result of better mechanics and more consistency with his ball placement and accuracy,” McShay added. “Also, it's worth noting that despite all the comments about his character and leadership ability ... it really does seem as though his teammates feed off the passion and energy with which he plays.”

Should the Raiders, then, go all in with Manziel, if he’s still on the board at No. 5, or should they sign a veteran quarterback, other than recently inked Trent Edwards, and build the rest of the team first?

Raiders sign QB Trent Edwards

January, 2, 2014
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ALAMEDA, Calif. – Back when the Oakland Raiders held the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2007, one of then-coach Lane Kiffin’s plans was to use it on some receiver coming out of Georgia Tech, kid by the name of Calvin Johnson, and then use a second- or third-round pick on a quarterback from down the road in Stanford’s Trent Edwards.

Kiffin was also intrigued by Brady Quinn, but that’s another story.

Instead, the Raiders went with the consensus No. 1 pick in LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell, and the franchise has been trying to recover ever since. In fact, current coach Dennis Allen said himself this week that the Raiders’ QB of the future was probably not in the building, and you could hear the moans emanating from Terrelle Pryor fans and Matt McGloin supporters.

So it is with some intrigue, then, that Edwards was signed by the Raiders Thursday to a Reserve/Future contract, especially since one perceived plan for Oakland, which holds the No. 5 pick for May’s draft, is to acquire a veteran QB and build around him as a bridge to said QB of the Future.

Edwards, who was a third-round pick (No. 92 overall) of the Buffalo Bills in 2007 and also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, was in camp with the Raiders in 2011, but then-coach Hue Jackson went with Kyle Boller as Jason Campbell’s backup at the time. Edwards resurfaced with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012.

He also had a workout with the Raiders this season, along with Pat White and David Carr.

Edwards has appeared in 38 NFL games in his career, starting 33, and has passed for 6,033 yards on 60.6 percent passing (563-of-929) with 26 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.

In 2008, he had a 2,699-yard passing season, with 11 TDs and a QB rating of 85.4.

Edwards was one of three to sign such contracts Thursday, along with defensive tackles David Carter and Torell Troup. Earlier in the week, the Raiders announced six Reserve/Future signings, all of whom finished the 2013 season on the Raiders’ practice squad: cornerback Johnny Adams, offensive lineman Jack Cornell, receiver Jared Green, linebacker Eric Harper, tight end Brian Leonhardt and defensive end Chris McCoy.

Oakland Raiders season wrap-up

January, 2, 2014
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Arrow indicates direction team is trending.

Final Power Ranking: 30
Preseason Power Ranking: 29

Biggest surprise: Now, no one is suggesting that Matt McGloin is the Raiders’ quarterback of the future, but the undrafted rookie who initially joined Oakland as a fourth-stringer and training camp arm did acquit himself well in starting six games and appearing in relief in another. So much so that coach Dennis Allen said McGloin has a future in Oakland, even if it’s not as the heretofore mentioned QB of the future. What the Raiders may have lost in athleticism when McGloin replaced Terrelle Pryor was gained in pocket presence. McGloin’s skill set simply fit the type of offense the Raiders wanted to run this season.

Biggest disappointment: It seems harsh to pinpoint a rookie who nearly died the previous time he stepped on a football field, but that’s the bull’s-eye the Raiders placed on cornerback D.J. Hayden when they selected him 12th overall -- and said they would have used the No. 3 pick on him if they were unable to trade down -- despite his heart issues. Hayden was playing catch-up from Day 1 and seemed overmatched by the speed of the game at times. A groin injury ended his season after just eight games and one interception. Only because expectations are so high for an early first-rounder does Hayden surpass oft-injured running back Darren McFadden in this category.

Biggest need: Let’s start with the obvious and continue down the list: a franchise quarterback, or at least, a vet who can bridge the gap to said franchise QB. Neither Pryor nor McGloin is that guy. And while defensive end Lamarr Houston did an admirable job switching from the left side to the right and had a team-high six sacks, the Raiders also need a pure beast of a speed rusher. The Raiders could also use a playmaking wide receiver, because while Rod Streater and Andre Holmes flashed as possession pass catchers, they are not your prototypical playmakers, either. An offensive lineman would do as well. Maybe even a center, that way Stefen Wisniewski could move back to left guard. Of course, the biggest O-line need is to re-sign left tackle Jared Veldheer.

Team MVP: When Rashad Jennings signed as McFadden’s backup, you knew Jennings simply had to bide his time before McFadden went down to injury. He did, and Jennings made the most of his opportunity, leading the Raiders with 733 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns, including an 80-yard TD scamper on a direct snap at Houston, and averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Jennings also caught a career-high 36 passes for 292 yards and blocked a punt. Perhaps most impressive: He never fumbled the ball and his 2.2 yards per carry after first contact ranked second in the NFL. Jennings, who will be an unrestricted free agent, missed one game in tying a career high with 15 games played, starting eight.

 
A weekly examination of the Raiders’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 29 | Last Week: 30 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

If you want to be true to the system, then yes, the Oakland Raiders did not live up to expectations in 2013. At least, not by our Power Rankings standards. We had the Raiders ranked 29th in the preseason; they finished 30th. Oakland, under second-year coach Dennis Allen, staggered to the finish with another 4-12 campaign, losing eight of its final nine games for the second time in as many years as well.

But as Allen was fond of saying, the Raiders’ collapse was not for lack of desire or trying. The team simply hit a wall, especially the defense, sometime during the Tennessee Titans’ 80-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown drive to beat the Raiders the weekend before Thanksgiving. So many players were logging career highs in snaps played that Oakland was in not only uncharted waters, but treacherous waters as well. And it showed in the final quarter-plus of the season, as the Raiders lost six straight.

Also made obvious was the fact that neither Terrelle Pryor nor Matt McGloin is the franchise’s quarterback of the future, though Pryor flashed early and McGloin showed a preternatural pocket presence before leveling out. Underachieved? When you think about it, the Raiders probably finished right about where they should have, considering the talent on the roster and the obstacles they faced.

Allen not sure if future QB on roster

December, 30, 2013
12/30/13
6:50
PM ET
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- While Dennis Allen anticipates he will return in 2014 as the Oakland Raiders coach, he is not sure about the prospects of the Raiders' quarterback position.

"Yeah, well, I think that's a position that we've got to make sure that we address," Allen said in his season-ending media conference Monday.

"I'm not sure that we have the quarterback of the future in the building right now, but again I think we'll go through the offseason evaluation process, I think we'll go back through all the tapes, we'll comb through everything. I do think we have a better idea of what we have at the quarterback position, but again I think, listen, that's the most important position on the football field."

McGloin
Pryor
Allen has already said that he believes Matt McGloin has a future with the team but has not been so outwardly encouraging about Terrelle Pryor.

McGloin finished with a passer rating of 76.1 after completing 55.9 percent of his passes (118-of-211) for 1,547 yards, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions in seven games, six starts.

Did he prove he was a capable NFL starter?

"I think so," McGloin said. "I thought I did some pretty good things out there. I also did some poor things that I need to work on and improve. That will come. I know I will get better, I'll continue to learn. I know our team will continue to improve and get better. I'm looking forward to it."

Then does he look at the Raiders as "his" team going forward?

"I think you have to look at it that way," he said. "Like I said, Terrelle and I played well at times this year and played bad at times this year. We have a very healthy relationship. He and I are always helping each other out and trying to do what's best for the team. The mindset whether it's my team or not my team, that's out of my control that decision.

"What I can do is try to improve and continue to get better as a leader and get better as a quarterback."

Pryor, who started eight of the Raiders' first nine games and then the season finale against the Denver Broncos, had a QB rating was 69.1. He completed 57.4 percent of his passes (156-272) for 1,798 yards with seven TDs and 11 INTs. Pryor also rushed for a franchise record-for-a-quarterback 576 yards, including an NFL record-for-a-quarterback 93-yard touchdown run, against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 27.

"I feel very confident," he said. "I had a lot of experiences this year. That's what it's all about, experiencing and understanding that you're going to have good experiences and bad experiences. It's what you do and how you study your craft off that, those experiences.

"That's how I'm going to look at it and that's how I'm going to work on my craft."

But if Allen is indeed retained and the Raiders have to get into the quarterback market, do they draft one early (Blake Bortles? Johnny Manziel? Derek Carr?) or do they play the free-agent market (Josh McKown? Matt Cassel? Josh Freeman? Maybe even a soon-to-be-cut Mark Sanchez?)

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