QB should no longer be on Oakland's draft agenda


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Jan 22, 2006
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QB should no longer be on Oakland's draft agenda
By Anthony Carroll

On Wednesday, the Oakland Raiders agreed with former New Orleans Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks on a two-year contract worth around $8 million. However, the “$8 million” is not the key fragment of that statement. The “two-year” part is what has people around Oakland still guessing. With such a short-term agreement employed, the door for quarterback entry is still open.

But it would be in his team’s best interest if Al Davis kicked the doorstop aside, slammed, and permanently locked that slightly opened entrance.

Two reasons: Aaron Brooks and Andrew Walter.

Aaron Brooks just turned 30 years old on March 24th—meaning at the end of his contract he will be just approaching 32. And if the Raiders learned anything from quarterback Rich Gannon it should be that age doesn’t always matter when you have the right team behind you—or in a quarterback’s case, in front of you. But, in order to test Brooks in the company of his new team, he needs to play with that team.

The problem? The NFL draft becomes before the season commences and Al Davis seems infatuated with Vince Young. And more likely than not, Young, who has seen his stock nose-dive since winning the National Championship, will still be available at pick seven.

With Aaron Brooks agreeing to just a two-year contract with the team, he seems like the perfect person to mentor Vince Young, not Andrew Walter. For one, Young and Brooks are two very similar quarterbacks. At the University of Virginia, Brooks was no stranger to tucking the ball and taking off, much like Young did at Texas. Despite starting only two seasons with the Cavs, Brooks had 199 carries at quarterback and posted the sixth-highest rushing yardage total by a quarterback in Virginia history. And we all know how dangerous Vince Young is on the ground, posting seasons of 998, 1,079, and 1,050 rushing yards as a Longhorn.

In the NFL, however, Aaron Brooks hasn’t been a “run before pass” quarterback. That fact also seems to make him the perfect mentor for Vince Young, whose only apparent weakness seems to be his difficulty dropping back and beating the defense through the air rather than on the ground. And two years seems just about right, doesn’t it?

Hopefully it’s not. If Vince Young is taken at seven that means a defender is not. Then you can abruptly count out S Michael Huff, DT Haloti Ngata, DE Mario Williams, LB A.J. Hawk, and DT Brodrick Bunkley. And at this point, safety, defensive tackle, defensive end, and linebacker are all positions that Oakland needs to fill—at least much more than an “apprentice” quarterback.

Especially when you already have one: Andrew Walter. Physically, he is a perfect size at 6’6, 230 pounds. As a trainee behind Brooks, he is the perfect age at 23. Historically, he has near perfect stats, completing 244 of 426 passes for 3,150 yards, 30 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 2004 with Arizona State.

But Walter can’t hurdle four defenders, outrun a small Mongolian gazelle, and spin his way out of an elevator.

But then again, can Vince Young sit in the pocket and read an NFL defense? Finding the answer to that question is not something that the Oakland Raiders should gamble on. Instead, they should let another team roll the dice, sit back and let Brooks play in front of Walter for two seasons, and watch their first round draft selection make plays on defense, not offense.

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