With two months to go until the 2014 NFL Draft, our writers have already tackled eight of the top prospects the Raiders might have the option of drafting:
- Johnny Manziel
- Jadeveon Clowney
- Sammy Watkins
- Teddy Bridgewater
- Blake Bortles
- Jake Matthews
- Anthony Barr
- Khalil Mack
With that in mind, we now turn our attention to another option on the table for Oakland, and one that the Raiders are already familiar with: trading the pick. Last season, Oakland held the No. 3 pick in the draft, but traded down to No. 12 in order to add a second round pick as well, No. 42. Now, according to the guidelines of the trade value chart, Oakland gave up 2,200 points of value and received just 1,680 in return. Then again, General Manager Reggie McKenzie claims Oakland selected the same player at No. 12 (DJ Hayden) that they wanted at No. 3.
So could McKenzie pull a similar move in 2014 with the No. 5 overall pick? In a draft loaded with a few elite quarterback prospects, a pair of offensive tackles, a trio of pass rushers and a potential star receiver, it's easy to see why the No. 5 pick could hold some serious value for other teams.
According to the trade value chart, Oakland's pick this season is worth 1,700 points. Considering the return they got last season was valued at 1,680 points, it wouldn't be a stretch to assume Oakland could be able to get a similar return. So what do our writers think — should Oakland trade down for the second year in a row?
Jeff Spiegel (@JeffSpiegel) — Trade it
With a roster that contains so many holes, adding multiple high-level picks to their arsenal is a no-brainer for Oakland.
Thankfully, this season Oakland doesn't lack a second-round pick — so they're not desperate to add one. That said, if Oakland could secure three picks in the top 40 or 45, they could potentially answer a number of questions in the draft alone.
On the flip side, Oakland has swung and missed on a number of drafts recently — especially in the first round — and so the idea of picking at No. 5 and almost guaranteeing yourself a successful pick is intriguing. For me, it comes down to whether you trust Reggie McKenzie. If you don't, the move would be to keep the pick and take a high-end prospect. If you do, then trust that McKenzie could swing a mid-first and mid-second round pick and capitalize on all three of the team's early choices.
RDreamer (@RaiderDamus) — Trade it
I get the feeling Teddy Bridgewater is going to fall unless he really shoots the moon at his Pro Day because people will overlook his excellent play and superb accuracy and focus on the fact that he isn't very big. This is foolish but it's how things are, and someone is going to give a ton of value for the opportunity to trade into the top 5.
With Khalil Mack and Greg Robinson making this a draft where eight players could be considered for the top overall slot, the fifth spot is a great place to be if you have holes all over the place because it means someone is going to key on a guy (probably Robinson, as franchise left tackles do not grow on trees) and pull a Ricky Williams trade for him. This would go a long way toward raising the overall talent level of the Raiders team in such a deep draft. If the Raiders are not absolutely convinced that Bridgewater is the next Doug Williams or that Khalil Mack is the next Derrick Thomas, they need to pass on all of them.
If the Raiders get a good enough offer, they should trade back to the teens and take the guy I have wanted all along, Marqise Lee. Then, they should spend a second rounder on a pass rusher like Scott Crichton or Trent Murphy, or perhaps a corner like Marcus Roberson or Bradley Roby. Despite the obvious hole at pass rusher, wide receiver is their worst position overall and Lee (who grew up in Southern California) would make a huge impact in the return game, as a deep threat, and as an all-around play-maker — the likes of which the Raiders have not had since Tim Brown.
Marcus Allen Krause — Trade it
The Raiders should trade back out of the No. 5 spot. This is a talented draft with a lot of good players, so they would still get strong value with their top pick and with so many needs, getting some extra draft picks would be really nice.
Yes, it would be great drafting somebody like Khalil Mack at No. 5, but it would be better trading back and getting someone like Anthony Barr along with an extra 2nd round pick.The Minnesota Vikings would be an option to trade with that would be appealing since they still draft inside the top 10.
The Raiders need to add a lot of talent this off-season and getting some extra draft picks would help immensely with that. The draft is deep enough that there would still be some playmakers available on the board if they traded back, and there is enough leverage at the top of the draft that they should be able to get good value for their pick in trade.
Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) — Trade it
I am all for the Raiders trading down out of the five spot — mainly because of the record number of lower-classmen declaring this year who have made the draft incredibly deep. Very talented players at key positions could be available in the mid to late first round such as DE Kony Ealy, LB Anthony Barr, DE Dee Ford, WR Mike Evans, WR Brandin Cooks, CB Justin Gilbert, and QB David Carr. The wide receiver class is especially deep.
It is said that teams can get top ten level talent through much of the first round and first round level talent through the end of the second round. This deep talent pool is a double edged sword, however. Because teams know quality talent can be had later, the trade partners could be slim and they won't be offering much. If the Raiders trade down, their compensation will likely be something similar to what they got last year - move down about ten spots and pick up a second round pick in the deal. But having three picks in the first two rounds of this draft can yield some quality talent — perhaps three starters.