The Raiders have been very quiet lately as far as any kind of signing goes, coach or player. They appear to have executed the first part of their agenda this offseason which was to overhaul the coaching staff and get the rights to key free agents, be it temporary or otherwise. The draft is creeping closer and closer and soon the eligible players will make their individual visits to the respective NFL clubs. With that in mind, it’s time to delve deeper into the 2011 draft class.
Today I’ll look at the best quarterbacks available -- in my opinion -- during three different points of the draft: second round, fourth round, sixth round.
If in round two - Andy Dalton, TCU
Dalton did not disappoint the 46 people from 26 NFL teams who showed up to his Pro Day. He lit it up throwing fifty straight catchable passes. He’s small at six-two and only 210 pounds, but he’s real quick too, coming in at 4.82 in the forty -- and he’s got a gifted arm. His win/loss ratio is spectacular (12-1 in 2010) and 24 picks in 1,001 career pass attempts is pretty impressive as well. He’s a real football player who does whatever it takes to win. In 2011, he threw for over 2,800 yards and 27 touchdowns. Granted, he had some good help at receiver, but perhaps the Raiders look to pair him up with the Horned Frogs' mighty mite wide receiver, Jeremy Kerley.
If in round four – Ricky Stanzi, Iowa
I am a fan of Stanzi, but he may be gone by this time in the draft. He’s a late third - early fourth round pick. The Raiders traded up in the draft to get Jacoby Ford last year. Would they do the same for a QB with potential? It is former QB’s coach, Hue Jackson we’re talking about here. At 6’4” and 223, Stanzi has the arm to put the ball where it needs to be. And he’s another scrambler, clocking a 4.87. Stanzi has the ability; he just needs someone like Coach Jackson to focus him. Will the Raiders have a sore spot for Iowa after the release of Robert Gallery?
If in round six – Taylor Potts, Texas Tech
Poor man’s Tom Brady? Yes, please. Potts needs to “Hulk Up” if he wants to play QB at this level. But he also clocked in the 4.8’s at his team's Pro Day and he is 6’4” so he can see over the crowd. This kid is the perfect project and of the three listed here, based on projected round and team needs, the most valuable player to the Raiders right now. Give Potts a few years to learn behind Jason Campbell and a couple of years under Hue Jackson and Al Saunders and see what happens. Potts is a low level pick because people are wondering if he can grasp an NFL playbook after coming out of Texas Tech, but keep in mind that he turned down offers from Charlie Weis at Notre Dame as well as Michigan to play there. "He’s very cerebral, both on the football field and off of it," according to his coaches.
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