Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden want to make their stamp on the Raiders roster this offseason. Making a deal for Kyler Murray would certainly qualify.
Derek Carr’s grip on the starting quarterback job with the Raiders may be weakening by the day. Despite expressing support for him publicly, both head coach Jon Gruden and GM Mike Mayock are thinking about making a bold move to acquire Kyler Murray.
Any designs the Raiders have on Murray will depend on the Cardinals’ willingness to pass on the former Oklahoma star. Arizona drafted Josh Rosen in the first round of last year’s draft, but their new head coach, Kliff Kingsbury is enamored with Murray. Despite their interest in taking Murray with the first pick, Peter King says the Raiders “bear watching.”
Mayock and Gruden do have a ton of draft capital to work with. Dealing stars like Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper hurt their product on the field, but it also gave the Raiders five picks in the first two rounds of the 2019 and 2020 NFL Drafts. Theoretically, the team could use those assets to move into position to take Murray. It’s unclear at this point whether or not moving all the way up to No. 1 would be required.
Murray’s appeal to the Raiders is obvious. They need a charismatic star to build around as they move the team to Las Vegas. While Carr might be an above average starting quarterback, the chances of him developing into a real star are almost non-existent. Keeping a veteran installed as the team’s starter also doesn’t make a ton of sense given the youth movement that’s sweeping throughout Gruden’s roster.
On the other hand, the Raiders have a ton of needs. Paying a premium to move up and draft Murray might give them a star to sell tickets, but it could be too costly to build a solid roster around him. In particular, Gruden and company have to come out of the offseason with at least one top-flight pass rusher. The franchise finished dead last in the NFL in sacks by a wide margin last season.
At the very least, you can expect the Raiders to be one of the most active teams around the draft. The combination of their draft capital and Gruden’s unpredictable nature make them a candidate to do almost anything. The presence of Mayock gives them an adult in the room, but he wants to make an immediate impact as well. Even if it’s not a move for Murray, the Raiders are a good bet to make a big deal around the draft.