In a matter of three weeks, the Oakland Raiders have forgotten about their former starting quarterback with the help of undrafted rookie Matt McGloin.
While still far from a finished product, McGloin has proven in his three starts for the Raiders that he has the physical tools and confidence to get the job done. During that time, he’s completed 55 of his 94 passes (58.5 percent) for 712 yards, four touchdowns and only two interceptions. Despite the Raiders’ subpar offensive line, he’s also taken only two sacks.
Part of the reason why the Raiders have been so pleased with the undrafted rookie out of Penn State? His ability to pick up big chunks of yards down the field, something that Terrelle Pryor wasn’t exactly adept at. In his three starts, McGloin has completed nine of 19 passes (52.6 percent, the fourth best completion percentage in the NFL) over 20 yards down the field for 238 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Above all, it proves that he’s willing to take risks and is accurate when he does. McGloin might not have the running ability that Pryor possesses, but his arm is clearly an upgrade.
To compare, Pryor had completed only seven of his 25 deep throws (32 percent) for 265 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions before an injury sidelined him and thrust McGloin into the starting role. Not great numbers, especially for a quarterback who has been touted all season for his improved passing.
McGloin hasn’t been perfect – he’s missing open receivers at times, forcing too many passes and fading down the stretch. For an undrafted rookie and former walk-on for the Nittany Lions, though, GM Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen couldn’t have asked for much more.
The future is bright for McGloin, a player who many thought would never amount to anything in the NFL. If he can continue to build on what he’s shown in his first three starts, the Raiders might have found their franchise quarterback – and they got him at a huge discount.