Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has said recently that he never felt the Raiders were going to take a quarterback early in this year's draft, but the team did spend time with Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins ahead of April's draft.
Those meetings and comments from General Manager Mike Mayock about always looking to see if you can upgrade a position spurred speculation that the Raiders might be in the market for a player to groom as a successor to Carr at an undetermined point in the future. The Raiders didn't use any of their three first-round picks to pick or position themselves to pick a quarterback, however.
In an interview with Peter King for Football Morning in America, Gruden was asked about those meetings and the team's interest in this year's crop of rookie quarterbacks.
"We all loved Murray. That doesn't mean we were gonna take him," Gruden said. "How do you not love his performance, his playing style, what he accomplished? I had a blast with him [when the Raiders worked him out pre-draft in Dallas]. We didn't think about going up to number one. We did look at [Nick] Bosa, [Quinnen] Williams, but not going to one. We did our homework on the quarterbacks. You gotta know who's coming into the league at that position. There was a lot of speculation that we were gonna take a quarterback. I kept watching a guy on NFL Network saying we're going up to get Murray. Then he says we're going up to get Haskins. Then he says we're going up to get [Drew] Lock. We're trading Carr. I don't understand it."
Gruden has been putting his own stamp on the Raiders since returning to the organization last year and that process has included dispatching prominent members of the team. Speculation that he might do the same at quarterback isn't much of a curveball, although it may begin to seem like one if Carr shows he still has his fastball.