The 2011 NFL Combine wraps up today and 2011 NFL Mock Drafts will really start to kick into high gear. This is especially pertinent for a team like the Oakland Raiders that lacks a first round pick. Up until now most mock drafts have just been projecting the first round. There are several projecting multiple rounds, but the completion of the Combine will up that number.
The Raiders currently roll out Jason Campbell as their starting quarterback. Both of his backups, Kyle Boller and J.T. O’Sullivan, will enter free agency whenever a new NFL CBA is signed. Given Boller and O’Sullivan’s free agent statuses and the fact that they’re both not particularly good, the Raiders need to make some kind of offseason move to add a quarterback. Additionally, Jason Campbell is sufficiently brittle and inconsistent enough that the team could use the 2011 NFL Draft to find a potential long term option.
Campbell is solid enough at this point to buy the Raiders some time, which means they could look for a project QB a little later in the draft. The folks at Silver and Black Pride have latched onto the idea of Alabama QB Greg McElroy as a potential fifth round option. McElroy stands 6’1 3/4 and is considered a late round pick due to his size and a general lack of NFL-level arm strength.
Folks are quick to roll out the “winner” argument because his Crimson Tide teams generally did very well with him at the helm. Being a “winner” certainly isn’t a bad thing, but it remains to be seen how it translates to the NFL given the superior athleticism of NFL defensive players.
Of course, as a project QB it would be a fairly low risk investment. You want your late round picks to hit, but if they don’t it won’t cost you the same as say a number one pick like JaMarcus Russell. I don’t know if Greg McElroy has what it takes to be a starting QB in the NFL, but I do think he’d be worth a flier in the fifth round if that came to pass.