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2020 NFL Draft: Raiders are a candidate to trade up for QB

Vincent Frank
Justin Herbert, Giants
© Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders found a way to add to their struggling quarterback room earlier in free agency, signing former No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota.

Mariota will join incumbent Derek Carr in vying for the starting job once training camp gets going around the league. This had many believing that the Raiders would avoid quarterback early in the 2020 NFL Draft next month. We previously focused on how that might run contrary to what head coach Jon Gruden has planned.

According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, there’s some around the league who believe that the Raiders are a prime candidate to move up for a signal caller.

“Many insiders around the league believe head coach Jon Gruden might not be able to help himself with this quarterback class,” Miller reported.

One longtime NFL scout with close ties to Gruden indicated that it might be unlikely the Raiders move up, but it wouldn’t be a surprise.

Gruden and his Raiders are a true wild card heading into the draft. They boast the 12th and 19th overall selections in the first round. Las Vegas is also without a second-round pick stemming from the Khalil Mack trade with Chicago. Some believe a trade down from one of those two positions make sense.

Not so fast. Here’s why.

  • It was previously reported that Las Vegas was high on the likes of Jordan Love and Jalen Hurts. Both would likely be available either in a trade-down scenario or with the latter of Las Vegas’ two Day 1 picks.
  • Enter into the equation Oregon’s Justin Herbert. He’s mentioned in the above-mentioned article as a player to watch for the Raiders. The 6-foot-6, 236-pound signal caller boasts the prototypical frame that Gruden had in the past coveted during his first stint with the Raiders and in Tampa Bay.

Las Vegas is certainly in a position to nab a quarterback it deems too hard to pass up on in a trade-up scenario.

The team would likely have to move up ahead of the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers at six. An option here includes the New York Giants with the fourth selection. A move of this ilk would require both first-round picks while taking back additional mid-round selections, according to generic trade value charts.

For his part, Carr had been bandied about as trade bait ahead of the start of free agency. Now that the Raiders have Mariota on the roster, it stands to reason that adding a rookie could lead to Las Vegas moving Carr during the draft. This would enable Gruden and Co. to pick up additional draft capital they would love in a hypothetical trade-up scenario for a quarterback.

There are teams that can shake up the top of next month’s draft now that it is going to go on as scheduled. Always a wild card, Gruden and the Raiders are certainly one of those squads.