Typically this piece is easier to manage and make assumptions about when the Raiders are drafting in the top 10 — but at No. 24? Things get a little more complicated.
With a lot of needs and a fairly deep draft, the question we ask our staff writers is this: would you be interested in trading up or down? The rules were simple: keep things reasonable (you can’t move up 10 spots in exchange for No. 24 and a 7th rounder, etc.) and lay out your case.
Jeff Spiegel (@JeffSpiegel)
I’ve made no secret about what I think the biggest priority should be for Oakland in the first round: linebacker. The good news is there are anywhere between 2-4 options that should be available when Oakland is on the clock (Reuben Foster, Jarrad Davis, Haason Reddick, Zach Cunningham) — and so whether Oakland should trade (in my book) completely depends on how these four players fare in the first half of round one.
If Foster is available in the late teens/early 20’s, I’m all for tossing in a third or fourth rounder and moving up to snag him. On the flip side, if Foster and Davis are both gone before pick No. 24, I’d be all ears listening to other teams interested in moving up.
Dan LeBaron (@DTLeBaron)
A lot of Raider fans have been advocating for the team to trade down from the 24th spot this year. This proposition makes sense—especially if you believe the players available to the Raiders after a potential trade would be relatively comparable to the ones available to them at 24th. The problem is—from an evaluation standpoint—the 24th ranked prospect should be head-and-shoulders above the 50th ranked prospect.
The Raiders need to strike gold with their first round pick, not give it away.
They should stand pat and try to draft a player at 24th that can take their defense to the next level. If you think that player doesn't exist in the 24-32 picks of the first round, guess again. In 2014 the San Diego Chargers nabbed Pro Bowl CB Jason Verrett at 25th. In 2013, DeAndre Hopkins, Xavier Rhodes and Travis Frederick—all Pro Bowlers—went within the last eight selections of the first round. If the Raiders can draft a player on par with any of those four at 24th, they will be in great shape come September.
To this point we haven't seen Reggie McKenzie trade up in the first round. He's been BPA all the way until later rounds when he wheels and deals. I don't expect him to move up in this first round either, although I would advocate his doing so if Reuben Foster weren't such a dipshit. He's exactly the type of player Oakland needs but carries too much risk to move up ahead of the Bengals, who are certain to take him.
Trading down is also an option for one reason: Oakland drafts one spot before Houston. The Texans are said to love Patrick Mahomes, so if some team like Arizona, Kansas City, the Jets, the Steelers or the Browns haven't got their QB yet, they might want to jump the Texans and slide into 24. I would expect the Raiders to receive a second and third round pick in addition to a high pick next year, possibly a first. It depends on which quarterbacks are available. Trubisky and Watson may be gone by this point so if anyone wants Mahomes, they have to talk to the Raiders.
Levi Damien (@LeviDamien)
Prior to this year, the fans have always called for the Raiders to trade down. That’s because for most of those years, the Raiders were terrible which means they had a top ten pick. Often they had a top five pick. And so generally speaking the concept of trading down a few spots and adding picks sounds appealing to a team that clearly has a lot of holes to fill and only so many draft picks in which to do it.
All that changes this year with the Raiders sitting at pick 24 which is their lowest position in 14 years. That would naturally make you wonder if they might trade up. I don’t see that happening as there are no needs so great they would give up later picks in order to fill that need.
What of trading down? There’s always so many ‘ifs’ involved in this decision. IF the player they want is gone. IF the next player on their board can be gotten at a lower spot. IF another team steps up with good compensation -- and being just ahead of the QB needy Texans, that is entirely possible. Usually when that happens at that spot, it’s a team looking to jump up from the second round back into the first round.
So, how bout this. IF all those other aspects line up, dropping into the top of the second round wouldn’t be the worst thing. The Raiders have a need at inside linebacker and the odds are pretty good one of them will be on the board at the top of the 2nd round. Then if they pick up an extra third rounder, they could address linebacker, cornerback, defensive tackle, and safety all on day two. Not a bad scenario. But obviously a LOT of things have to fall into place for that to work out.