Why Oakland should draft Mariota

Marcus Mariota -- rather than Derek Carr -- should be the future of the Raiders franchise. Getty Images

Derek Carr was selected 36th overall in 2014 by the Oakland Raiders and earned the starting quarterback job out of training camp. Carr started all 16 games, threw for 3,000 yards and threw nine more touchdowns than interceptions in his rookie year.

According to the most recent mock drafts by Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, the Raiders will be looking to add weapons for Carr with the fourth overall pick at the 2015 NFL draft, specifically at wide receiver with either West Virginia's Kevin White or Alabama's Amari Cooper.

But the projections indicate that Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota also could be available at No. 4 come April 30. Given the option, the Raiders shouldn't look to upgrade the supporting cast for their quarterback -- they should look to upgrade the quarterback.

Sixteen games may seem too small a sample size to evaluate Carr's future, but the evidence suggests Oakland has enough information to determine if he's the future or not.