Raiders Position Battles: Quarterbacks

Action shots of the Raiders four quarterbacks during the offseason.

Last year, the Oakland Raiders traded for veteran quarterback Matt Schaub and selected Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr (No. 36 overall) in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Schaub was brought in to be the starter but Carr made it a competition and won the job. Carr then went on to become the first Raiders rookie QB to start on opening day and start all 16 games of a regular season.

This season, Carr is the incumbent. Schaub was released and landed with Baltimore. Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder was brought in to back him up and serve as a mentor.

Let's take a look at the four quarterbacks on the Raiders roster:

Derek Carr | 6'3" | 214 | Fresno State | 2nd Season

Carr broke nearly every Raiders rookie passing record. He has been named to almost every NFL watch list as a guy ready to make a big leap. He threw for 3,270 yards and 21 TDs last season. He shows maturity beyond his years and his infectious enthusiasm inspires teammates. The Raiders added some new weapons, shored up the offensive line and revamped the backfield.

Bottom line: He is going to have to improve the league worst 5.5 yards per completion mark. If he stays healthy, Carr should show significant improvement this season. Hopefully that will lead to more numerals in the "W" column. 


Christian Ponder | 6'2" | 229 | Florida State | 5th Season

The Raiders were Ponder's first free agent visit and he signed immediately. The former first pick of the Minnesota Vikings has gone from quarterback of the future to season veteran backup in five short years. With Carr's offseason injury, Ponder got a lot of work during the offseason program. New Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave worked with Ponder in Minnesota so Ponder has a good grasp of the offense.

Bottom Line: Ponder was injured at the end of a season where he led the Vikings to a playoff berth and got off track. He is a capable athlete who has shown he can play in the NFL.


Matt McGloin | 6'1" | 210 | Penn State | 3rd Season

After starting six games as a rookie in 2013 and becoming the first Raiders rookie quarterback to win his first career start since Larry Lawrence in 1973, McGloin saw action in one game last year. His fiery nature and never say die attitude are admirable traits. He's not the biggest guy, but he has also shown that the game is not too big.

Bottom Line: McGloin is a capable back-up and can start in a pinch.


Cody Fajardo | 6'2" | 223 | Nevada | UDFA

The Raiders signed Fajardo after the 2015 NFL Draft as an undrafted free agent. He played four years at Nevada, playing in 45 games and becoming just the second player in FBS history to reach 9,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing, joining Nevada alum Colin Kaepernick. Fajardo completed 878 of 1,348 pass attempts for 9,659 yards and 57 TDs.

Bottom Line: Fajardo is going to have to show something special to make the team. He has value as a practice squad player running the scout team with regard to the pistol formation and defending the read-option. But, you never know what can happen and Fajardo should have plenty of opportunities in camp and the preseason to prove himself.

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