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Raiders checking out QBs at combine

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, February 21st, 2014 at 2:04 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Filed for print . . .

General manager Reggie McKenzie finally has a level playing field, but having more than $60 million available under the salary cap and a full complement of draft picks won’t get the Raiders turned around unless he finds a quarterback.

Former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was under NFL scouting combine spotlight Friday at Lucas Oil Field. Manziel, along with Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville and Blake Bortles of Central Florida, are considered the three quarterbacks who could be worthy of the Raiders’ No. 5 pick in the first round.

The Raiders need many things besides a quarterback, and plan to adhere to their philosophy of serious-minded players who put the team first while evaluating more than 330 players this weekend.

Yet it’s clear if if McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen can’t find a solution to the most important position on the field, the jobs of both men could be on the line. Owner Mark Davis is watching closely, attending his first combine since taking over for his late father.

Manziel hit all the right notes in a jam-packed media session, promising to take the NFL seriously and hinting his hard-partying college days are behind him.

One problem _ he measured in at 5-foot-11 ¾, and only to quarterbacks 6-1 or under (Rex Grossman and Michael Vick) have been drafted in the first round since 1970.

“I play with a lot of heart, play with a lot of passion,’’ Manziel said. “I feel like I play like I’m 10 feet tall. A measurement to me is just a number.’’

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock ranks Bridgewater (6-foot-2 ¼, 214 pounds) as the most ready to play immediately. Bortles, at 6-foot-5 and 232 pounds, has the prototype height and size and enough mobility to get out of trouble.

Allen, a Texas A&M alum, was complimentary about Manziel but stressed the Raiders had only just begun to dig into the backrounds of potential darft picks.

“He’s able to throw the ball from the pocket and can create things with his feet,’’ Allen said in his media session. “As we get more into the evaluation process, he’ll be a fun to to evaluate.’’

While Mayock said film shows Manziel as a quarterback who becomes less comfortable when kept in the pocket, Manziel said, “I’m looking forward to showing up all the people who say I’m just an improviser. I’ve worked hard at improving my all-around game.’’

In going 8-24 over the past two seasons, the Raiders have gone through Carson Palmer, Terrelle Pryor, Matt Flynn and Matt McGloin as starters. Only Pryor and McGloin remain, and McKenzie and Allen are in agreement it’s possible neither is the club’s quarterback of the future.

Whether the Raiders have the right men in the building to identify the next quarterback is a fair question. Both McKenzie and Allen have backgrounds on defense, and the club whiffed on both Flynn by trade and in drafting the departed Tyler Wilson in the fourth round last season.

In a postseason meeting with the local media, McKenzie answered in the affirmative when asked if he was confident the organization could develop a quarterback. One NFL scout said the Raiders’ supporting cast is so suspect he’s not sure any quarterback could have flourished in Oakland last season.

Other notes and issues facing the Raiders as they go about their businesss in Indianapolis.

– When the draft convenes May 8-10, there is plenty of talent to choose from. Mayock called it the deepest draft he’s seen in 10 years.

– The Raiders have 17 unrestricted free agents on their roster, with whom they can negotiate exclusively until free agency begins March 11. They are are reportedly more than $60 million under the projected salary cap.

Left tackle Jared Veldheer ($11.1 million for one year) and defensive right end Lamarr Houston ($12.5 million) are candidates to get the franchise tag, although McKenzie would prefer to work out long-term deals.

Other players the Raiders are interested in bringing back are running back Rashad Jennings and free safety Charles Woodson, who Allen said “still has something left in the tank.’’’

– The Raiders, according to McKenzie, will seek a veteran quarterback in free agency even if they draft one. The pickings are slim, however, with notable names being Philadelphia’s Michael Vick and Minnesota’s Josh Freeman, who had his best season in Tampa Bay working with Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson.

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  • marks hair

    I liked the fake sweed better.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    He has a soft speaking pattern like a lot of gay men.
    What was evident in that dance video that showed up on line all over is that he has frequented a lot of gay bars where gay men dance, show off their bods. Such attention to muscular bodies among gay males a relatively new phenomena since they came out of the closet and now must compete in the meat market of sexual attraction the way women have always had to do–yeah, dancing , a female behavior, to show off a body, another female behavior shouldn’t be a surprise about him since he’s gay.
    You can assume he’ll show off other gay traits as well. Period. What do you expect?

  • rifflicks

    dream on

  • Dakota

    Oak R8ers
    Just thinking about what you are saying, I guess a couple of examples I could think of would be Demarcus Ware and Julius Peppers….both might have to be cut, and we might be able to pick them up with a late round pick….but Peppers is old, and Ware has injury problems and he does not look like he is worth the contract.

  • rifflicks

    no but the Easter bunny is coming soon

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    We don’t have picks to give away and Mark would eat the cost of the new contract signed with DA.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    The thing is Pryor has yet to understand that.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Manning or Leaf? No one knew for sure!

  • rifflicks

    the Raiders haven’t had one this decade….lets waste a 1st rounder on a QB

  • marks hair

    so it’s likely that a once in a lifetime trade will come our way…. sweet. loan me that crystal ball of yours sometime

  • rifflicks

    you may be seated

  • rifflicks

    any thing over a 7th round pick for Pryor would Qualify

  • Blackholepriest

    Even more so now I think we could trade down and get a lot of help at some positions of need. My opinion of the depth in this draft especially in the early rnds has gone up considerably. I think we could effectively solve the front 7 issues in the first three rnds if we trade down and I would add TE to the wish list just due to the talent there even more than need.

    The CBs in this draft I think are gonna put on a show, if we could somehow get 5-6 picks in the first 3 rnds and use the primarily on D I think we go a long way towards improving this team immediately. A couple of edge rushers and a cover guy could improve the D immediately.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    Gotta concentrate on getting a QB. Other than maybe McGloin, we don’t currently have an NFL-caliber signal caller.

  • SR Raider

    More good names. My point was that these were all predictable – at least by me. In this draft, any one of the top 4 could be busts, with Bridgewater and Carr being the most likely to flame out entirely

  • 0ak R8rs

    You will have to give me a list of your imaginary girlfriends if you want more specificity. Tough to keep track of all the fantasies you spout.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I feel my self respect draining away as fast as my Pabst.

  • 0ak R8rs

    I could see that. I think Bortles has the build. And I’d take a shot at Carr w preferably a low 2nd or high 3rd round pick. Don’t want anything to do w Manziel or Bridgewater.

  • Dakota

    Beer is a last resort for me.

  • The Beeeeech Dawg

    Yo, whut up Brahs

    The Zen Dawg has a SICK sat planned, got a few MAJOR ho’s on the way over to chill at the pool, then I’ll be leading a master yoga class

    Don’t have my license, but I guess my reputation for understanding the flow of consciousness in reggae style music makes up for it

    After that, probably enjoy some vegan mai tais in the hot tub before heading upstairs for a group shower

    That’s where the fun begins, the Lawg (a full 15 inches) makes his first appearance of the night

    And his last, before he disappears into a black hole of never ending va-jay-jay, shout out to MLK, Jr.

    REPRESENT JAMAICAN FRESHNESS

  • 0ak R8rs

    First of all, it was. Especially in the first half of the season. And their defense and ST was clearly better than ours in any week of the season. Lots of short drives for Palmer last year. And he still managed to throw 20+ picks.

  • 0ak R8rs

    Ah, Pabst. First beer I ever drank. Have a soft spot for that beer. One of the few American beers I drink.

  • 0ak R8rs

    Perfect. I’m on board.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    No self respecting man on a budget would rather drink one ‘quality’ beer than 5 cheap ones.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I stop looking once I’ve found the beer too.

  • RaiderReloader

    Quinn or Jamarcus?

  • plunkhead

    I hear the ghost of Al Davis, saying Freeman, Freeman

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Gdog! Help! We need PFF! Oak’s making things up again!

  • 0ak R8rs

    Yea. Ware is one for sure. He had one down year. But sometimes that one down year for a DE means they r done at that age. Pass rushing DEs disappear very quickly. Age just catches up all at once for those guys I guess. Peppers might be done. I’d take a shot at Ware if he was willing to restructure or even take a paycut, like Palmer did for AZ.

  • plunkhead

    Then draft Sammy and trade mcgloin for an EggMcMuffin

  • Dakota

    Can’t Reggie get any NFLN face time? Conspiracy!

  • The Beeeeech Dawg

    The only fantasy around here, Oak Dork, is that you might hook up with a female tonight

    But me and my Blog Brahs are pulling for you, 1 Love (respect)

  • plunkhead

    They cant get Sam off the pedestal

  • The Beeeeech Dawg

    Almost forgot to mention we’re getting the UFC fight tonight in the Dawg Crib, a couple babes are headlining and will probably totally lezz out

  • 0ak R8rs

    Ebron hurt. Reggie will take him for sure now.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    PFF
    - 4 games in -Ariz. 27th(Raiders 17)
    -8 games-32nd (Raiders 28)
    -season-32nd (Raiders 27)

  • Dakota

    pALMER ACTUALLY MADE OUR LINE LOOK BETTER THAN IT WAS IN 2012….GOT THE BALL OUT PRETTY FAST TO AVOID SACKS….I AM SURE HE DID THE SAME IN Arizona LAT YEAR TOO.
    FING CAPLOCKS!

  • 0ak R8rs

    Good post.

  • marks hair

    New post

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    It should be shouted. But will still fall on deaf ears.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Thanx, you quitter/choker/loserphobiac!

  • 0ak R8rs

    That’s a good thing to be afraid of, you know?

  • 0ak R8rs

    While I like Pabst, beer is the one thing I WONT budget. I’ll buy generic groceries, I’ll stop only at the cheapest gas stations, but I drink the beer I want. If I’m in the mood for Gennesse cream ale (local beer) for $16 a case, then fine. But if I’m craving Grolsch for $42 a case, I’ll buy that. Money is no object when it comes to beer.

  • Blackholepriest

    Well I disagree but onward and upward………get the best players available………period

  • Howard Benner

    If in a vacuum, but he said it on the international stage in Europe. during the Olympics. . .guess he had a bad experience @ an Amsterdam Admirals game. . .