Why Oakland Should Draft Mariota (ESPN Insider, key points in comments)

I want to go on record saying I don't agree with this article, but I'm not too surprised this is being brought up. A breakdown of the reasons:

"On the surface Carr's rookie campaign compares favorably to other recent seasons by rookie QBs. He threw fewer interceptions (12) and completed a higher percentage of passes (58.1 percent) than Andrew Luck did (18, 54.1 percent) and he was the ninth rookie since the merger to throw at least 20 touchdown passes (21).

A deeper dive into Carr's numbers suggest his 2014 season left a lot to be desired, however. Carr finished the season with a 38.4 Total QBR, which ranked 28th out of 33 qualified quarterbacks. His QBR didn't rank favorably among other recent rookies, either. Of the 27 rookies to qualify since 2006 -- as far back as Total QBR data goes -- Carr's QBR ranks 15th, sandwiched between EJ Manuel (38.4) and Geno Smith (35.9)."

"It's possible Carr can improve upon his first 16 starts, and adding stability to the running game or drafting a top wide receiver would potentially help that endeavor. But regardless of the moves the Raiders could make, it's unlikely he'll improve to the level of an above-average NFL starter."

"Since the JaMarcus Russell disaster, the Raiders simply haven't been in a position to draft a top quarterback prospect like Mariota, either by their own doings (trades) or by not bottoming out far enough. The Raiders didn't have a first-round pick in either 2011 or 2012, and picked 12th and fifth the past two years. The Raiders tried acquiring quarterbacks in that stretch, utilizing eight picks from 2012-14 to acquire seven quarterbacks, but that strategy has not helped matters.

It might seem like overkill to add Mariota to that list, but if Carr doesn't improve enough, the Raiders would be right back in this position again, hoping a top prospect is available when they pick.

Mariota carries the potential of a franchise quarterback, something Carr has yet to display at either level. In college Carr logged three full seasons as Fresno State's quarterback and never posted a QBR season higher than 77.0. By comparison, Mariota's worst QBR in three seasons as Oregon's starter was 86.2."

"The numbers suggest Carr is unlikely to develop into anything more than an average NFL QB. On draft day the Raiders could find themselves in a position to improve the most important position, and that's an opportunity they shouldn't let pass by."

I skipped over some fluff about cap space and more detailed stats but this is the jist of the article.

/r/oaklandraiders Thread Link - insider.espn.go.com