Ever since Oakland released Kerry Collins in the off-season, critics have linked the Raiders with an urge and/or need for a quarterback. There are many reasons for this. Lets recap: Oakland drafts quarterback Andrew Walter in the 3rd round of the 2005 NFL Draft. The team enters the season with Kerry Collins at QB, Collins is pulled for backup (2001 2nd round draft pick) Marques Tuiasosopo, Tuiasosopo is pulled for Collins and season ends with Collins throwing 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions (ranked 6th in in NFL passing yards and ranked 10th in NFL touchdowns.) Collins is now a free agent and is contemplating retirement. Tui started 1 game and was tossed around like a rag doll (he did throw a touchdown) but remains with the team. In the off-season, Oakland signed former Saints starting quarterback Aaron Brooks to a 1 year deal.
A lot of the problems should fall on the shoulders of Oakland offensive line, which was pretty offensive. We'll start by saying that they need help at guard. They need to move Robert Gallery to his natural position. They have tried to plug the line holes with veterans but it hasn't helped. (Hint: Consider drafting a guard as early as the 4th round, guys.) Whatever quarterback they use, he'll need protection. Granted, a 1 year deal with a veteran usually means that he is there to groom someone for the position. Hence, the talking heads pushing the idea that Oakland would take a quarterback with the #7 pick in the draft. Many expected they would take Vince Young and others said Matt Leinart (Oakland likes California players.) It didn't happen (as of noon PST the team drafted Michael Huff a much needed defensive back.
Ahhh, why wouldn't the team want to draft a quarterback? That would be because the team and many fans view Andrew Walter as the team's quarterback of the future. I know, why didn't he get thrown into a game last year during a lousy season if he was that good? Great question. Walter had a great year in 2004 leading Arizona to an 8-3 record and became the Pac-10's all-time touchdown leader breaking a mark held by John Elway (recently broken again by Matt Leinart.) Why didn't Walter get drafted higher than 3rd round then? During the last game of the 2004 season, Walter suffered a 3rd degree shoulder separation which affected his draft status (originally expected to be a 1st round prospect.) Walter reportedly was injured during training camp and was held back for the remainder of 2005 to allow the shoulder and groin injuries to heal. Walter is expected to compete with Brooks and Tuiasosopo for the starting quarterback position. Teams usually carry 3 quarterbacks into a season. If Oakland drafted another, they would likely be cutting Tuiasosopo (which still can happen.)