Only one month ago, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden backed Derek Carr as the team's starting quarterback. The situation could change drastically during the first round of the 2019 NFL draft on Thursday.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported "the quarterback rumors with the Raiders persist" and mentioned Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins as the likely targets.
The Raiders own the fourth overall pick in the draft, which should allow them to snag Murray or Haskins should Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock want a quarterback. Even if the Arizona Cardinals take Murray with the No. 1 selection, neither the San Francisco 49ers nor the New York Jets need another young player at the position.
During Gruden's first year back in Oakland, many fans couldn't ignore the exasperated reactions he'd sometimes direct toward Carr in the middle of games:
However, ESPN's Todd McShay said Tuesday on Get Up! that Gruden "does not necessarily love [Carr]" and that things will come to a head at some point if the Raiders avoid selecting a quarterback early in the draft.
Carr finished with a career-high 4,049 passing yards but saw his touchdowns fall from 22 to 19. Football Outsiders ranked him 21st in defense-adjusted yards above replacement (DYAR) among quarterbacks with at least 200 attempts in 2018.
Nobody can blame Gruden if he has lost faith in Carr. The five-year veteran hasn't taken big strides in his development, and now is a good time for the Raiders to make a change.
They're probably not going to contend for a playoff spot in 2019. More importantly, they'd give Carr's replacement a year to get adjusted to the NFL before the franchise moves to Las Vegas, at which point the level of scrutiny will only intensify.