The Pros And Cons Of The Raiders Drafting Kyler Murray
It was a foregone conclusion that the Arizona Cardinals would select Kyler Murray with the first pick until it wasn’t.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports reported Saturday that, “All of a sudden, they are pulling back, and from what I’ve been told, they are going to go in a different direction. They are not going to draft Kyler Murray.”
If the Cardinals do skip on Murray, that opens the opportunity for the Oakland Raiders to select the quarterback out of Oklahoma. Murray could slip to the fourth pick with both the 49ers at two and the Jets at three without a need at the quarterback position.
It’s no secret that Jon Gruden loves Murray and may not want to miss out on the opportunity to select Murray with the fourth overall pick. The problem is that the Raiders already have a proven quarterback in Derek Carr. What would selecting Murray mean for Carr?
There’s plenty to think about for the Raiders choosing Murray. Here’s the pros and cons to drafting Murray:
Pro: Murray’s potential
The Raiders have spent the off-season giving Derek Carr new weapons in Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams. Murray was the quarterback for one of the most explosive offenses in college football last season and won the Heisman. He finished third in passing yards and touchdowns and has the potential to be a great NFL quarterback.
Con: Derek Carr is a good NFL quarterback
The biggest question with that is if Murray’s ceiling is higher than what Carr’s ceiling is. Carr hasn’t quite been what he was two years ago but still has shown he can be a top-tier quarterback. Carr threw for a career-high 4,049 yards with 19 touchdowns and a 93.9 passer rating. While those aren’t top-ten numbers, Carr is well above an average quarterback and shown he can lead a team to the playoffs. With that being said:
Pro: Carr’s trade value
If the Cardinals do select Murray, they would likely trade Josh Rosen. If that does happen, they could receive a second or third-round pick in return, and if that’s what they receive, Carr’s value could be higher. He’s a proven quarterback who’s entering his sixth NFL season and is 28-years-old. While a first-round pick might be a high asking price, the Raiders could load up on several picks in exchange for Carr.
Con: The price for trading up to the first pick
If Saturday’s report that the Cardinals will pass on Murray is a smokescreen, Gruden still is high on him. There could be a situation where the Raiders attempt to trade up to the first pick to select Murray. Quarterback isn’t the Raiders biggest need and trading for the first pick could hinder Oakland’s chance to fill needs.
Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area said on The Drive Wednesday morning, “The Raiders have explored the possibility of trading up to number one. It’s cost prohibitive obviously considering the volume of needs they have and the number of quality foundational players they have a chance to get with all this draft capital they would lose if they move up to one.”
Pro: Carr’s team-friendly contract
If the Raiders do get Murray but can’t find a trade that works for Carr, cutting the sixth-year quarterback could be on the table. The Raiders owe Carr $19.9 million for the 2019 season, according to Over The Cap. After this season, the Raiders have no guaranteed money tied to Carr.
There could be a scenario where the Raiders do ride with Carr for one last season with Murray sitting behind him, although that’s unlikely. The Raiders could also eat the $19.9 million and cut Carr prior to the 2019 season, since Murray will be on his rookie deal. The key here is, the Raiders have options with Carr’s contract and that could make Murray a viable option for Oakland.