NFL Draft Rumors: Raiders ‘Aren’t Really Considering’ Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel at No. 5

Blake Bortles
Blake Bortles
Mark J Rebilas USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders are among the teams in need of a quarterback in the draft, but you can all but count them out of the race for the two prized prospects.

Sources tell the San Francisco Chronicle the Raiders “aren’t really considering” drafting Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel with the fifth overall selection, though general manager Reggie McKenzie said he remains “open to everything.”

McKenzie is entering his third draft at the helm of the Raiders and does not boast the strongest track record when it comes to the quarterback position.

Last year, he took a fourth-round flier on quarterback Tyler Wilson, who has since been cut twice and brought back before he was claimed by the Tennessee Titans.

McKenzie was the architect behind the deal to acquire Carson Palmer and Matt Flynn, who was also released by the team that same season. He signed undrafted rookie Matt McGloin, who impressed down the stretch and eventually took over for Terrelle Pryor, but is probably no better than a quality backup in the league.

Speaking of Pryor, the former supplemental draft pick was recently dealt to the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.

McKenzie’s most recent attempt to give the Raiders stability under center was trading for veteran Matt Schaub from the Houston Texans, who hold the top pick in this year’s draft and are also expected to take a quarterback at some point. The Raiders only had to part with a six-round pick to acquire Schaub, but according to McKenzie, that does not preclude the team from addressing the position in the draft.

“What it does is just give us some stability at that position, and we needed that,” McKenzie told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Because we traded for Schaub does that mean we’re going to bypass a (quarterback) that we’ve got graded a certain way? No.”

The Raiders have been linked to former Clemson standout wide receiver Sammy Watkins with the fifth pick, but may also have interest in either one of the top offensive tackles or perhaps a pass rusher — Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack — if one of them were to slip past the top four teams.

Over the past few months leading up to the draft, the Raiders have shown a strong interest in former Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr, who the team reportedly has a “crush on.”

Oakland also reportedly met “extensively” with Bortles. The team has also been identified as a team that would be willing to trade out of the fifth spot.

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Sam Spiegelman
Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.

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