To trade or not to trade, that is the question in the world of the Oakland Raiders. Of course it all depends on the offerings for the number 5 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, but is it the correct decision to attempt to move back in the draft?
Reggie McKenzie has already stated that his phone lines are open and that he will be willing to at least listen to any offers that are out there. This is a strange draft though in that it is filled with immensely talented players, yet still has a large gap between the very top talent and the rest of the prospects. Is collecting more draft picks in this very deep draft the right decision over taking one of the excellent players that will be available in the top 5?
To me the answer is simple and unequivocally YES. The Raiders absolutely should trade back in this year's draft in order to procure more of these talented players. It obviously depends on the compensation but without a doubt in my mind the Oakland Raiders should accept an offer to move back in this draft.
They moved back in last years draft from number 3 all the way to number 12 and they only received a 2nd round selection for their troubles. If they were to move that many spots again in this draft the compensation avaible to them will likely be more, but even if it isn't more than last year an extra 2nd round pick would be worth the move on its own accord.
With so many underclassmen avaible in this year's draft there are legitimate 1st round talent players that will be forced into the 2nd round just because there are so many good prospects available. There is a record 98 underclassmen that have declared for this draft, that influx of young draft eligible players has changed the dynamics of the draft.
Yes, Sammy Watkins would be a great pick in the top 5 for the Raiders. However, would he really be a better pick than getting HaHa Clinton-Dix in the mid first round and an extra 2nd round pick that could be used on a Jordan Matthews or a Stephen Tuitt? To me it seems like a no brainer, fix two positions rather than just one.
There is the other side of it though, the side that knows what a Sammy Watkins or a Khalil Mack could do for the Raiders. Sammy would be the legitimate number 1 receiver the Raiders still are lacking, or Mack could bring a much needed pass rushing specialist to the outside. These players do have a better chance of breaking out in a big way on the next level, that could very well be worth turning down extra compensation for skipping them.
Even with how talented and deep this draft is, the top of the draft offers legitimate star material. One player in the top 5 could be a franchise changing playmaker, the chance to draft a player like that could prove too much to resist. Maybe its the already mentioned Watkins or Mack, maybe it's one of the top QB's or offensive linemen available. The point is, that one player could turn out to be the difference between being a playoff contender and not being one.
If you think one of these top players could be that difference maker to push your team into the upper echelon of teams in the NFL, how do you pass that up? What happens if the player you pass up turns out to be a hall of fame quality player? It has happened many times already to the Raiders with them passing up players like Calvin Johnson, Aaron Rodgers, and Larry Fitzgerald in the past. Is a trade back really worth adding another great to that list?
Though it seems like an easy decision to me to take a trade back and accumulate more players, nothing is really that simple in the NFL. Reggie McKenzie has a lot of work to do and the time is dwindling down quickly to decision making time. The draft is just 2 days away now, what would you do if you were in charge?