Matt McGloin

Tafur: Raiders only have eyes for one first round QB, may “kick the tires” on Freeman

The Oakland Raiders are in need of help throughout their entire roster and quarterback, being the most important position on the roster, is high on the list of needs. The Raiders have the number five pick in the NFL Draft and there are three quarterbacks who are currently considered top ten talent: Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel.

Raiders aren't interested in this first round QB.

Raiders aren’t keen on Manziel.

Depending on how the first four picks go down, there is a good chance that one or more of these guys will be available to the Raiders at number five. But according to San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Vic Tafur, the Raiders will only draft a quarterback if one of those three falls to them, and that would be Bridgewater.

Out of the three big-name quarterbacks in this draft, the most “NFL ready” is probably the star out of Louisville. Bridgewater looks to have all of the tools and mental attributes necessary to play at the next level. His biggest knock? A smallish frame. While he has decent height at 6′ 3″, he only weighs 196 pounds.

While he has a ton of talent, that won’t matter if he cannot find his way onto the field to display that talent. For much of the same reason Bridgewater causes fear in general managers, Blake Bortles does the opposite. While Bortles is far from being a fine-tuned quarterback, his physical specs fit the prototype.

If it’s true that the Raiders are only interested in Bridgewater, that would makes a lot of sense given their first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. D.J. Hayden is rather undersized for a corner, but his play on the field was dominant at times. The Raiders had no problem overlooking his diminutive stature and injury history to take the guy they believed was the best football player available on the board.

Tafur also talked about the most likely free agent the Raiders could look toward in their never-ending mission to find a franchise quarterback.

“I think Josh Freeman is a guy they’ll probably kick the tires on the hardest. Greg Olsen and Josh, they were together in Tampa Bay, they like each other. They were very close to trading for him last year,” Tafur said.

“They like his talent. Obviously he has some issues, there are some skeletons in his closet. I think they’ll do some investigative work on that, make sure they can turn him around. Reggie McKenzie said he’ll sit a guy down, look him in the eye, tell him what he thinks of the guy overall and see what the guy says back. What Josh will have to do is convince Reggie that he can turn things around.”

Tafur also said it’s most likely that the Raiders sign a free agent quarterback as well as draft someone, although he seemed to think that they’d take someone in the second or third round unless Bridgewater somehow fell to No. 5. While he thinks Matt McGloin would be given the chance to compete for a job in 2014, Tafur said, “I don’t think Terrelle Pryor will be back next year.”

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