Josh McDaniels wants QB who can ‘be a Raider for a long time’

Paul GutierrezESPN staff writer3 minute reading

INDIANAPOLIS – Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said Tuesday he would meet “most of the quarterbacks” at this week’s NFL combine and gave a sense of what the Raiders are looking for as their search for a new QB continues.

“They’ve got to get us into the end zone and at the end of the day we’ve got to win,” said McDaniels, who is entering his second season with Las Vegas.

“It’s not one size fits all, but there’s a lot of things you look for if you’re going to commit to them … The goal ultimately is to try to have a young player that’s going to be a Raider for a long time. “

Although McDaniels has had four quarterbacks with four markedly different skill sets in the past four years — with Tom Brady, Cam Newton and Mac Jones when he was offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots and Derek Carr in Las Vegas last season — he said, “Our system is going to fit the player. They don’t have to (have) a specific set of attributes. If they have talents that we can use in other ways, then we’re going to use them.”

McDaniels also said benching Carr late last season had nothing to do with a potential pursuit of Brady, who instead resigned.

With the release of Carr, the team’s starter since 2014 and holder of most of the team’s records, on February 14 and Jarrett Stidham hitting free agency, Chase Garbers is the only quarterback under contract with Las Vegas.

The Raiders have the No. 7 pick in the draft but will likely have to trade up to get some of the top three prospects at the position — Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis — and have also been linked to Brady , Aaron Rodgers , Jimmy Garoppolo and Stidham.

“The goal for us, ultimately, is to have somebody that’s going to be here for a long time,” McDaniels said. “You see the teams that are successful right now in our league, our conference and specifically in our division, they are young players that were drafted by their clubs and they are developed there under the same continuity.

“Do I think you have to do it if you’re not sure or sold on the player and now make a mistake just to try and say you’re trying to solve a problem? I don’t think it’s really a smart decision… So we going to do everything we can to evaluate every player at that position, both in the draft and free agency, and try to do what we can to improve the room. I mean, It’s definitely going to be added a number of players in that position.”

McDaniels was asked specifically about the 6-foot, 194-pound Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner.

“There are different ways to throw, so if you lack height, you have to find some windows sometimes, and it’s about their ability to see through the rush, into the defense and read the coverage properly,” McDaniels said. “I’m not sure anybody has done better than Bryce here in a while in college football. Height is not a prerequisite and I think you see that now with, look, Russell (Wilson has) had a great career. Kyler Murray has been very good for his short time in the league.There are other really good players in the league who lack the ideal 6-foot-4 height that we used to have.

“Fifteen, 20 years ago, everybody was kind of after the same thing. College football is different. It produces a lot of different types of players. And guys can figure out how to throw the ball. So to me, when you look at the tape, if height doesn’t affect his ability to find open receivers, throw the ball well and accurately, and his body size hasn’t been an issue in terms of overall durability, then I think you have to evaluate the player.”

McDaniels said he and general manager Dave Ziegler, also in his second year with the Raiders, would “recalibrate” after the combine.

“When we identify who’s going to be (the quarterback), there’s certainly an expectation that we’re going to get good play out of that position,” McDaniels said. “We have to get good play out of this position because if we don’t, it’s hard to win in this league. That’s my job.”

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