Few NFL teams have as many questions at quarterback as the Oakland Raiders. Week One of the 2013 season is still three months away, but the team seems to be having problems at the most important position on the field.
In early April, the team traded starter Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals for a seventh-round draft pick. In 24 games with Oakland, Palmer went just 8-16. He didn’t have a successful run with the Raiders, but they failed to replace him with a proven quarterback. In Oakland’s first day of minicamp, the club saw, firsthand, the problems they are facing at the position.
Several reports detailed how poorly the Raiders quarterbacks performed. The group, consisting of Matt Flynn, Tyler Wilson, Terrell Pryor and Matt McGloin was unimpressive, to say the least. According to Vic Tafur of The San Francisco Chronicle, two straight downfield throws from Flynn that were described as “wounded ducks” were the highlights of the day. Barely any throws were completed downfield and several passes were batted down at the line of scrimmage.
Entering the summer, Flynn is the team’s starting quarterback. However, the team doesn’t have much evidence to prove that his poor minicamp performance was just a fluke. For the past few seasons, Flynn has been heralded as one of the top backups in the NFL. He has an impressive career 92.0 passer rating, but those numbers come from a very small sample size. He has only thrown 141 total passes in five years and never attempted more than 66 in one season.
In the 2012 offseason, the Seattle Seahawks signed Flynn to a three-year contract worth $19.5 million. He failed to beat out Russell Wilson for the starting job, who the Seahawks drafted in the third round. Flynn was unable to perform like a starter when he got a chance in 2012 and might be headed down the same path in 2013.
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Terrell Pryor has the second-most experience on the team, but that isn’t saying much. He didn’t take a snap in 2011 and attempted just 30 throws in 2012. In his limited time on the field, the Ohio State product completed less than half of his passes for a 70.8 quarterback rating. At Day One of minicamp, he had four passed tipped at the line.
The Raiders have no idea what they might get out of Tyler Wilson or Matt McGloin, if the other quarterbacks can’t get the job done. Wilson was taken in the fourth round of this year’s draft. In what was considered a weak class for signal callers, five quarterbacks were taken ahead of him. Coming from Penn State, McGloin was passed up in all seven rounds and could be a longshot to make the final roster.
Training camp hasn’t even begun, so it may be too early to judge players based on their minicamp performances. However, unless they can make a trade, the reasons to have confidence in any of the Raiders quarterbacks are few and far between.