Jon Gruden has sounded enamored with Kyler Murray in the lead-up to the NFL Combine, but his new general manager was firm in saying the Raiders already have their signal-caller, referring to Derek Carr as “a franchise quarterback.”
“We’ve got a young quarterback that we think is a franchise quarterback that’s going to be 28 in March, so we’re pretty happy with where we are,” Mike Mayock told reporters Wednesday of Carr at the combine. “Especially with our backup, who we signed last year, [A.J.] McCarron, we feel like we’re pretty good at the quarterback position.”
Oakland, after of the questionable trades of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper last season, has three first-round picks, including the fourth overall.
And Gruden, entering his second year back at the helm, has repeatedly praised Murray, the undersized Heisman Trophy winner out of Oklahoma, who recently said he would be focusing solely on football rather than pursue a baseball career with the A’s.
Most recently, Gruden told a Raiders-affiliated podcast that seeing Murray play was “like watching a video game.”
“When you look around and you see Kyler Murray in one year as a starter, he tore college football up running and passing,” Gruden said on the podcast. “He’s like watching a video game. He runs a 4.3 [40-yard dash], and he has a cannon for an arm. You can’t deny his overall athleticism. He was a top pick in major league baseball, and he might be one in football. That’s hard to say.”
But Mayock, who is making the leap from NFL Network draft analyst to GM, certainly made it sound as if the Raiders would be focused elsewhere.
“I think Derek Carr is a franchise quarterback,” Mayock said. “I truly believe that. Now, do I also believe that it’s a general manager and head coach’s job to keep their job open to improve any position on a football team? Sure. But I think it’s really difficult to try to improve over a franchise quarterback like the one we have in our building right now.”