Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie showed last year that he is not opposed to trading down. He has also said in the past that he likes having more draft picks. That philosophy works well for a team in need of adding a lot of young talent to rebuild its roster.
Currently the Raiders have seven picks in the draft. Three of those picks are in the seventh round. So, naturally, the idea of trading down to acquire more picks in the upper portion of the draft is a topic of discussion. Whether they pull the trigger is dependent on a lot of factors and variables which McKenzie can't predict.
"I wish I had the answer to that," McKenzie said in a press conference Thursday about whether he would trade down in this draft. "When you got 31 other teams you have no idea who they want at a certain time. That's what makes it fun - the uncertainty. But I cannot plan that at all. I could just be hard headed and stubborn and say I'm not moving but that's not my style. Our phone line stays open on draft day."
The Raiders phone lines weren't just open last year, the Raiders were making some calls. They wanted to add a pick in the second round and took the chance D.J. Hayden would still be there when they traded down from the third overall spot to twelve.
They are again in a high draft position although this pick appears to be more valuable than last year's pick. The quality of talent at the top of this draft is far better than last year. This year the elite crop is pretty well established. And if a team wants one of them, they know who to call.
"I'm open to everything," McKenzie continued. "Whether I stay at that pick, it's all going to depend on who's calling, where you're moving, who's there when you pick. There's so many variables. I cannot say what I'm gonna do without a doubt right now."
That five pick will undoubtedly have the best player at several different positions on the board. Once the Raiders are on the clock, they'll be on the phone. The lowest pick that has come up in trade is the 30th overall pick from the 49ers. Most times dropping 25 picks in the first round is not plausible. However, it's certainly not impossible.
Just three drafts ago, the Falcons traded up from 28 to the sixth pick so they could draft Julio Jones. It cost them a lot of draft picks but lucky for the 49ers, they have a lot of draft picks to use.
The 49ers aside, there are several teams in the mid-first round who could be interested. Which team makes the leap, as McKenzie pointed out, depends on who is on the board. So, really the main variable is which team. The offers will be there and the Raiders are listening. Take your best shot.