One of the looming questions as we approach the draft is whether the Raiders could attempt to trade wide receiver Denarius Moore. The reason behind such an idea is the possibility the Raiders could use a high draft pick on a receiver. If this happens, their wide receiver corps gets pretty crowded and Moore looks like the odd man out with some decent value in trade. How much value is the question.
Let's examine that.
First off, the Raiders chose Moore in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. By most measurements, he has outplayed his draft position as a starter the past couple seasons for the Raiders. One would assume then that he would yield a pick higher than his draft position. Perhaps the fourth round.
Getting a fourth round pick for Moore seems realistic... in most drafts. This draft, however, that may not be the case. The reason is how incredibly talented and deep this class of receivers is. Not only are there an unprecedented number of underclassmen who declared this year but the receivers in particular are one of the best classes ever.
What this means is first round talent can be had in the second round, second round talent in the third and so on. It also means more teams will have a chance to get a decent receiver so less teams will be in need of trading a draft pick to get one, making it a tough sell to expect much in return for Moore.
As we know, team regard draft picks like they are sure things. They see first round picks as Pro Bowlers, second round picks as starters, and mid round picks as potential starters and gems. Moore is not a number one receiver on most teams. He may not even be a starter on some teams.
Expecting to get anything above a fifth round pick is not very realistic in this draft. So, let's go deeper.
To do that we must get in the way back machine to the year 2010. The Raiders used their top pick (8th overall) to select one Rolando McClain out of Alabama as the top middle linebacker in the draft. His selection immediately made middle linebacker, Kirk Morrison, expendable. So, the Raiders immediately began shopping him during the draft.
At that time, Morrison was considered a fairly decent middle linebacker. He had 133 combined tackles the previous season (109 solo) which was his best season statistically. Surely, he would garner a mid round pick all by himself. Not even close.
As the Raiders got into the mid rounds, they traded Morrison so they could move up from the fifth to the fourth round to get speedster, Jacoby Ford.
Morrison didn't even yield a pick straight up. He yielded the right for the Raiders to move up 45 spots in the mid/late rounds of the draft. You can talk all you want about the rest of Morrison's career and how you think that was a good trade in hindsight, but at the time it was considered a steal by the Jaguars.
That was a very similar situation to the one we would be talking about here. For instance, if the Raiders were to take Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins with the five pick. He would instantly be considered the team's number one receiver. It's even possible that because of the depth at receiver in this draft, the Raiders could find a starter in round two. That could very well make Denarius Moore expendable.
The other receivers on the Raiders include the newly signed free agent James Jones, Rod Streater, and Andre Holmes. They were already trying to find a way to get Holmes more involved last season. Now with Jones added to the mix, the competition for playing time is even more fierce.
It is possible with no picks in the fifth and sixth round that the Raiders could try and package Moore with a seventh round pick to move into one of those rounds, but is even that worth it for him?
What it comes down to would be the Raiders asking themselves how little they would be willing to accept in trade for Moore and weigh it against how valuable he would be as a rotational receiver.
The good news is with the group they have now, they have the luxury of not drafting a receiver high should they like a player at another position better or don't like the receivers on the board. And should they not draft a receiver and based on what looks to be like very little value in trade, trading Moore probably wouldn't make a lot of sense.
This is, of course a hypothetical but is one worth pondering.