If Christian Hackenberg Is Oakland Raiders Backup QB, Gruden Should Give Brandon Doughty A Try

If Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden’s still looking for capable backups for his star quarterback, Derek Carr, and is giving former NY Jets and Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg a shot, then Gruden should give Brandon Doughty a look, too.

Going into the 2016 NFL Draft, I had Brandon Doughty ranked way ahead of Hackenberg and current Raiders backup QB Connor Cook, too, and in fact, had him at number one for all 2016 NFL Draft QBs.


Brandon Doughty was the best pure passer coming into the 2016 NFL Draft. Watch the video of him from college at Western Kentucky. Doughty threw for 5,055 yards and completed 72 percent of his passes, along the way. He led all of college football in passing yards, and not just in 2015, either. In 2014, Doughty posted 4,830 yards and completed 67 percent of his passes. And touchdowns? He threw 48 in 2015 and 49 in 2014.

What happened?

These factors worked against Doughty: coming out of small Western Kentucky, which plays in the Sun Belt Conference, and for a team that had a 7 and 6 record his final year and 4 and 4 in their conference, was one factor. The other was the kind of offense he played in: The Airraid Offense is the best system for quarterbacks who are pure passers, but it’s not yet caught on in the NFL, and only in 2018 are we seeing signal callers who played in it, drafted in the 1st round of the NFL Draft.

Also, Brandon Doughty, even with his college football-leading statistics, and his impressive passing display at the 2016 NFL Combine, his 40-yard-dash time was a slow 5.22. So, you’re not going to be designing a bunch of quarterback sweeps for him, but the Raiders can scheme around that. if Coach Gruden’s willing to trade a lack of running ability save for the fact that he can, well, run, for the pin-point passing talent that he is, then Brandon Doughty will surprise him. He just needs the chance.

Finally, it doesn’t seem like Brandon’s received the kind of agent representation enjoyed by people like Paxton Lynch or Jared Goff. A good agent can make a world of difference.

Brandon Doughty is the perfect example of the good guy who didn’t get his shot for this reason or that. His college stats were no fluke; he can replicate those numbers in the National Football League, but he has to see field action to prove it. Doughty’s had good preseaon outings with the Dolphins, but for reasons of bad luck in the form of the Dolphins QB roster, that never materialized into a regular season start. For reasons due to the Dolphins electing to give as much time to Ryan Tannehill as possible, Brandon never saw the reps he needed to get better.

Hopefully, the Raiders will bring him in. That’s too much football talent just lounging on the couch at home, Coach Gruden. Put Brandon Doughty to work.

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