Free agency — with $50-plus million in salary cap room, your Las Vegas Raiders should be major players once again — is still three weeks away. Yet, it is not too early to talk about draft scenarios for the Raiders, especially with the NFL Combine currently going down in Indy.
One of the early combine storylines was provided by New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman when he said Tuesday that the team is open for business with the No. 4 overall draft pick in the April 23-25 draft.
That could create an interesting scenario for the Raiders, who, of course, have the No. 12 and 19 picks in the first round. Last year, the Raiders had three first-round picks (4, 24 and 27) and they kept them all. Perhaps Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock will take that rout again with an extra first rounder.
But, perhaps the Raiders’ brass will decide to go grab a true blue-chip player at the top of the draft.
If that’s the way Gruden and Mayock decide to go, calling Gettleman is worth the cell data.
If the Raiders offer the No. 12 and 19 picks, it will probably make the Giants jump. In fact, the Giants might even have to add a mid-round pick to even out the deal. Let’s say the Giants throw in a third-round pick. That would mean Las Vegas (first typed “Oakland” again) would have the No. 4 pick, no second-round pick and four third rounders. That ammo could help get back into the second round and still allow the Raiders to have several picks in the top 100 selections of the draft.
But, the key in this scenario, of course, would be getting a dynamic player at No. 4.
That’s exactly what Mayock said this week at the combine. The Raiders need to get more dynamic on defense.
A potential target, if the Raiders were to make that deal with the Giants would be Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown. NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks said Brown has Hall of Fame potential.
There aren’t enough people talking about Brown as arguably the best player in the draft. It’s uncommon to see a big man with his combination of size, strength and explosiveness. Not to mention, he’s a 100% effort guy. He’s special. I mean gold jacket special. #NFLCombine https://t.co/1gKakhz7NV— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) February 25, 2020
Now, that’s something to pay attention to.
Getting a disruptive force in the middle of the defensive line could be the start of something special for Win City.
A line of Maxx Crosby, Brown, Maurice Hurst and Clelin Ferrell could be pretty dominant for a long, long time. The 2019 49ers’ showed how a special defensive front can quickly turn a team around.
Brown should be great. Crosby is on his way. Hurst is solid. Ferrell has a chance to be solid as well. Having Brown complete this group could make everyone on the line better. Yes, losing one of the first-round picks would hurt, but if Brown is truly a generational talent it is worth it. That’s the entire goal of the draft — to add special, franchise-changing talent.
If the Khalil Mack trade (he is one of those type of players) can net Josh Jacobs (who the Raiders took with the Mack pick in 2019) and a player like Brown, the Raiders would have to consider this deal.
What are your thoughts? Would you want the Raiders to go for broke in their first draft as the Las Vegas Raiders or would you rather keep the two first-round picks?
Let me know in the comment section below.