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2018 NFL Draft: Could Raiders trade up into the bottom of the first round? Here are some scenarios

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Would the Raiders be wise to jump back into the first round if a player they have rated highly falls?

NFL: Oakland Raiders-Jon Gruden Press Conference Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this month our own Levi Damien suggested that the Raiders would be wise to trade back in the first round instead of drafting a player with 10th overall pick. For instance if a quarterback such as Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson fall, the Raiders could use them as bait and move back for a plethora of picks. But this isn’t the only potential opportunity for a trade that Reggie McKenzie and Jon Gruden should consider heading into late-April.

If a player the Raiders have rated highly slips to the end of the first round, they could move up from their spot at 41 overall in the second round and into the first round to ensure that prospect ends up in Oakland. With picks in every round including 8 picks on day three, the team certainly has the ammo to afford trading up in the draft.

Using a draft value chart, we can estimate what the Raiders would have to give up to move from pick 41 into the late-first round. For example, if Oakland wants to make a deal with a team picking in the bottom-five of the first round, the cost would be their second round pick (41st overall), their fourth round selection (110 overall) and both of their picks in the fifth round (159 and 173 overall) to get the deal done. Alternately, they could trade future picks.

One potential suitor for a trade would be the New England Patriots. With two picks in the first round (23rd and 31st overall), Bill Belichick could be looking to find a trade partner for at least one of them. Belichick is notorious for trading out of the first round to gain future picks, making the 31st overall pick an intriguing option for the Raiders to move up.

If Oakland does indeed move back into the first, it will be because a player they love is still on the board. Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst and Alabama’s Rashaan Evans are two names to keep an eye on that might be available in the late-first. Hurst is a top-ten talent on the field, but a heart condition that kept him from competing at the NFL Scouting Combine could deter teams from spending a high pick on him.

Evans is one of the most physical tacklers in the draft, but a talented position class featuring Roquan Smith, Tremaine Edmunds, and Leighton Vander Esch could result in Evans sliding down the first round.

Impressive depth at the cornerback and running back positions might lead to some popular names falling as well. If prospects such as LSU running back Derrius Guice or Colorado cornerback Isaiah Oliver are still available, the Raiders would have to at least consider trading up to select them.

Multiple opportunities for trades should make 2018 an intriguing NFL Draft for the Raider Nation. Whether they are looking to trade down in the first round, or even possibly jump back into day one, there is no doubt that Reggie McKenzie and Jon Gruden’s phone line will remain open.


Should the Raiders trade back into the first round if a talented player falls?

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