With only Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor on their roster, there is a good chance the Raiders will take a quarterback with one of their seven selections in this week's NFL draft.

It has been a long-standing problem for a franchise that identifies only Ken Stabler (second round, 1969) as a playoff-level quarterback obtained in the draft and includes such flameouts as JaMarcus Russell (first overall, 2007) and Todd Marinovich (No. 24 overall, 1991).

With the Raiders needing a player who can make an impact immediately, general manager Reggie McKenzie is unlikely to use the third pick on a quarterback. Geno Smith of West Virginia is the only one whom draft analysts feel would have a chance to be selected that high.

West Virginia’s Geno Smith throws under pressure from Texas Tech’s Kerry Hyder during an NCAA college football game in Lubbock, Texas,
West Virginia's Geno Smith throws under pressure from Texas Tech's Kerry Hyder during an NCAA college football game in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Stephen Spillman)

That leaves the Raiders with six picks from rounds 3 through 7 to identify a developmental quarterback, which probably takes Smith, USC's Matt Barkley, Florida State's E.J. Manuel and perhaps Syracuse's Ryan Nassib out of play.

Exactly what McKenzie is looking for is anybody's guess. In his 18 years as a scout and personnel executive with Green Bay, the Packers had Brett Favre and then Aaron Rodgers, the latter picked in the first round out of Cal in 2005.

Nor is it clear how the Raiders will operate offensively in 2013 other than a return to a power running game. Coach Dennis Allen is adamant that schemes be installed to fit the personnel on the roster, and new offensive coordinator Greg Olson said, "It's important to be flexible and willing to adapt as an offensive coach on what you're going to do and put them in position to do what they do best and be successful."


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Assessing and projecting quarterbacks in the NFL is one of the most difficult part of judging personnel.

"The windows are so much tighter, third down, red-zone passing; it's very difficult," former Raiders coach and ESPN analyst Jon Gruden said by conference call. "Some struggle with adapting to a new system, to the terminology, to the audibles.

"Some struggle when they don't get the reps they're accustomed to getting in college. Those are the hardest things for young quarterbacks."

A look at quarterbacks the Raiders could be considering when the draft convenes Thursday, Friday and Saturday:

  • Geno Smith, West Virginia, 6-foot-2, 218 pounds: The Raiders need a step-in-and-start player at No. 3. Smith is an option only if the Raiders trade back.

  • Matt Barkley, USC, 6-2, 227: The most NFL-ready quarterback because of his extensive Pac-12 experience.

  • E.J. Manuel, Florida State, 6-5, 237: With arm strength, athleticism and running ability, he could be this draft's closest thing to Colin Kaepernick.

  • Ryan Nassib, Syracuse, 6-2, 227: Gruden is convinced Nassib is the best quarterback in the draft.

  • Tyler Wilson, Arkansas, 6-2, 215: Wilson regressed as a senior in the post-Bobby Petrino fallout, but he has toughness and can hit big throws.

    In this March 27, 2013 file photo, Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley passes during NFL Pro Day at the University of Southern California, in Los
    In this March 27, 2013 file photo, Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley passes during NFL Pro Day at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. When the NFL Draft rolls around, the second-guessing officially begins as some of college football's highest-profile quarterbacks find out if an extra year in school cost them millions of dollars. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

  • Mike Glennon, North Carolina State 6-7, 225: Glennon, the successor to Russell Wilson, intrigues some scouts but needs more upper-body strength.

  • Tyler Bray, Tennessee, 6-6, 232: His decision-making needs to be better, but Bray has a terrific arm and maybe too much confidence to fit ball into tight spaces.

  • Landry Jones, Oklahoma, 6-4, 225: Is Jones a pro prospect or a guy who throws a lot of bubble screens in a gimmick offense? Scouts are split in their opinion.

  • Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt, 6-1, 212: McKenzie might take a late-round flyer on Rodgers based on the success the G.M. had in Green Bay with Jordan's brother Aaron.