The Las Vegas Raiders needed a quarterback and Marcus Mariota needed a new home. The two parties announced on Friday that they had reached an agreement to put Mariota in the silver and black, but that may not be where the Raiders want to stop in terms of acquiring signal callers .
According to multiple reports the Raiders really liked Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts until last month’s NFL Combine changed all that. Of course, they didn’t stop liking Hurts after the Combine, they just realized that he’s going to be out of their reach.
Hurts killed it in Indianapolis and boosted his rating from a fourth-round pick to seemingly a second-round lock. That isn’t going to work for Las Vegas who has two first round picks and three third-round selections, but nothing in the second. That’s where The Athletic’s Vic Tafur says the Raiders find themselves in a bad spot.
“As far as the upcoming draft goes, the Raiders definitely like Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts,” Tafur says, ” … but I don’t think they were happy to see him do so well at the combine. He went from a fourth-round to a second-round projection, and the Raiders have three third-round picks but none in the second.”
It sounds as if Las Vegas was hoping to steal Hurts in the third round and then had to pivot to the possibility grabbing him too early in the first-round or leveraging some of those third-round picks to move up into the second.
I’m not sold that the second option is off the table. If they really like Hurts that much they probably wouldn’t mind selling off some of their third-round picks to nab him. Mariota is a safe addition to backup Derek Carr but he certainly doesn’t seem to be a long-term solution. Taking a quarterback in next month’s draft would allow whoever the selection is to not be thrust immediately into the spotlight. Instead, having Carr as a starter and Mariota as a backup would allow the rookie to learn and develop. That sounds like a perfect situation for Hurts, especially for a team who thinks he may be the perfect fit.
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