Since going down 24-0 to the Bengals at the half of week 12, we all knew the Raiders were destined to pick at the top of the 1st Round. While a top 5 pick is normally a sexy proposition for most teams, a team slashing contracts left and right because of dead cap money doesn't make this a good fit. So trading back makes all the sense in the world. About three weeks ago it looked almost improbable that Oakland would be able to have a willing trade partner for a high draft pick. That was until the Chiefs made two huge moves.
KC made national headlines trading for Alex Smith to be their starting QB and retaining Brandon Albert with the franchise tag. Percy Harvin shocked everyone by being traded for a 1st round pick and a 3rd next year. Then when free agency began, we saw the Eagles go all in paying huge contracts to 3-4 NT Isaac Sopoaga and pass-rushing OLB Connor Barwin trying to install their new 3-4 alignment. Also many believed Steven Jackson was all but signed, sealed and delivered to the Packers only to sign with the Falcons. Lastly Geno Smith completed his pro day yesterday and completed 60 of 64 passes even though he said it was 60 of 62, solidifying himself as a top 10 draft pick. What this means is the #3 pick and another option are now almost certain to be in play this April.The #3 Overall Pick
Assuming Jacksonville passes on Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher and QB Smith the #3 pick is destined to make teams want to look at the #3 spot. Many may think KC at #1 seems like a better option to trade up to however consider the salaries from #1 and #3 overall. The #1 overall pick is signing for an average of $24 million for 4 years while last year, Trent Richardson signed for approx $20 million over 4. That is a difference of $1 million per year minimum. Also assuming a team like Cleveland who's new ownership, GM, or HC have no loyalties to thirty-something ex-baseball pitcher Brandon Weeden or Arizona who's four QBs last year combined for 11 TDs and 22 INTS want to move up. The #3 won't be asking for the king's ransom a #1 overall might so a trade may be easier to negotiate.
Next while Philadelphia is paying for defense they still haven't addressed their top need which is O-line. If Reggie and Dennis can make teams think they are thinking of drafting Fisher or Smith but if the price is right trade the rights to them it may be very likely. Another scenario is the Lions at #5, Dee Milliner's 4.3 40 yd dash all but solidified his status as top 10 pick. A team such as the Jets, looking to dump Darrell Revis or the Bucs and Dolphins at 12 or 13 needing CB help may want to jump ahead of the Lions to draft him. These are all very possible.Darren McFadden's Value
Finally I brought up Steven Jackson almost becoming a Packer. He didn't but that doesn't mean the Packers don't have cap space to go after him. They offered Greg Jennings $10 million per yr only for him to shun that offer and talk to the Vikings. Seeing as how Alabama RB Eddie Lacy missed his pro day with a hamstring injury, he may have slipped out of the 1st round. Many believed Green Bay would go after him. That along with Reggie Bush signing a big money deal to go to Detroit makes Darren McFadden's value all the greater. You don't think a QB like Aaron Rodgers who made guys like James Jones and Jordy Nelson into rich men wouldn't love the thought of a RB with DMC's skill level sharing the backfield instead of WR/ QB/ KR Randall Cobb who is a better fit in the slot? Green Bay could easily trade a 1st or 2nd rd pick this year or next year seeing how Percy Harvin was taken for a 1st and wouldn't come close to touching the ball as often as McFadden. Then for salary cap relief, sign him to a long-term deal. Oakland would likely have multiple top 100 picks this year and next with these two moves while solidifying depth and freeing up salary in the process without penalty. If this doesn't happen then at least it brought up conversation right? Let me know what you think.