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Identifying 12 potential trade down scenarios for Mike Mayock to maneuver

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Which teams in the draft may be looking to slide up and give the Raiders the additional picks they seek?

Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

With Jon Gruden in the mix since 2018, the Raiders have made a healthy 25 trades and 11 of those came in 2019 with Mike Mayock at GM. Looking at the 2020 NFL Draft, which unbelievably is next week, Mayock and Gruden may want to recoup picks in the second, sixth, and seventh rounds, where they currently have no selections. Though Las Vegas has two first and three third round picks, I would not be surprised for those “Raiders want to trade down” rumors to be true.

With which teams will they potentially be trading?

One thing I wanted to identify are the teams that have traded multiple times with the Raiders since 2018. If those front offices already have a relationship, why not again? Well there are three teams that Oakland/Vegas have traded with twice in that time and three teams that they’ve dealt with three times.

The Raiders made draft day deals with the Indianapolis Colts in both 2018 and 2019, making them an interesting candidate for another one in 2020. The Colts hold pick 34, acquired from Washington, and their own at pick 44. After trading pick 13 to the San Francisco 49ers for DeForest Buckner, would Indy like to move back up to 19 for a certain prospect? If you wanted to reference the Draft Trade Value Chart, picks 34 and 44 hold a value of 1,020, while pick 19 has a value of 875, making it an overpay. If you believe in that chart.

The Colts would need to add about 300 “points” with pick 34 and they also hold pick 75, which is a value of 215. Looking ahead to 2021, the Raiders don’t have a fifth round pick, sending that to the Bills for Zay Jones.

The Indianapolis Colts could send picks 34, 75, and a 2021 fifth round pick to the Raiders for pick 19.

The Raiders made a deal with the New York Jets in 2018 for Christian Hackenberg, then another in March of 2019 involving Keleche Osemele and a swapping of day three picks. But the Jets hold picks 11 and 48, really putting them out of position to do a trade with Las Vegas barring a player or 2021 first round pick being involved.

They’ve also made two deals with the Chicago Bears, beginning with the Khalil Mack trade in 2018 and returning in 2019 to deal Eddy Pineiro for a 2021 seventh rounder. Number 19 is Chicago’s pick. Would they want it back? Thankfully for them they have the Raiders second rounder at 43 and their own pick at 50. The value of those picks is almost the exact same as the value of pick 19.

The Chicago Bears could send picks 43, 50 to the Raiders for their original first round pick at 19.

Another quarterback traded to the Raiders in 2018 was A.J. McCarron, who Oakland sent a fifth round pick to the Buffalo Bills for in September of that year. The Raiders made two more deals with the Bills in 2019, trading down in the second round, then acquiring Jones in October. But Buffalo traded pick 22 to the Minnesota Vikings for Stefon Diggs and don’t pick again until 54.

During the 2018 draft, Oakland swapped Jihad Ward for Ryan Switzer in a deal with the Dallas Cowboys. In October, they trade Amari Cooper to Dallas for a first round pick, then last April, moved up in the fifth round for Hunter Renfrow in another Cowboys trade. That’s also three moves in basically one year with one team. Dallas isn’t in great position to move up from the second round, but do hold pick 17.

If the Cowboys eyed a potential star falling to pick 12, they could call up Mayock in an effort to move up five spots in round one. The value difference between 12 and 17 is 250 points, whereas Dallas’s third round pick at 82 is worth 180 points. A deal like that would give the Raiders three straight picks in the third round at 80, 81, and 82. They could take three swings on day two or Mayock could attempt to move up into his favorite range of 20-60.

The Dallas Cowboys could send picks 17, 82, and a 2021 fifth for pick 12.

The other team they’ve done three trades with is the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Raiders traded for Martavis Bryant in 2018, then Antonio Brown in 2019. In between, they dealt Switzer to the Steelers and swapped a sixth for a fifth. Pittsburgh holds no first because of the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade and they aren’t up in the second until pick 49. I also assume any trade between these teams would have to include a receiver with some red flags.

That’s it for teams they’ve made multiple deals with but that just means there are plenty of franchises that are only one trade away from having made multiple deals with Gruden. We can next look for trade down possibilities by looking at the draft order.

First, I think we can eliminate AFC West rivals as trade opportunities. Gruden hasn’t made a trade with any of those three teams yet.

The Philadelphia Eagles are at pick 21 and might see a receiver on the board that they can’t risk the Raiders taking. The cost to move up would be about 75 points.

The Philadelphia Eagles could send picks 21, 103 to the Raiders for pick 19.

But what if they wanted someone viewed as “better” like Jerry Jeudy and he was available at 12?

The Philadelphia Eagles could send picks 21, 53 to the Raiders for pick 12.

These teams have not made a trade in the last two years, but both are fairly active in making deals. They did make a trade with the New England Patriots in 2018 though, sending Cordarrelle Patterson and a sixth to the Patriots for a fifth. New England now sits at 23 and is going through the biggest transition period for the franchise in the last two decades. Would Bill Belichick thirst over a QB prospect and attempt to make a big move to get to pick 12? That would cost New England two early fourth rounders.

The New England Patriots could send picks 23, 98, 100 to the Raiders for pick 12.

What if the Pats only wanted to move up to 19?

The New England Patriots could send picks 23, 87 to the Raiders for pick 19.

But trading up has yet to be Belichick’s strategy. The only AFC East team that Gruden hasn’t dealt with in the last two years is the Miami Dolphins and they have picks five, 18, and 26. Is it possible that the Dolphins would strongly desire two players when they’re on the board at 18 and just decide to make a small sacrifice in order to secure both of them? Moving up from 26 to 19 would theoretically cost them 175 points and the closest they can get to that mark is a small “overpay” for Miami.

The Miami Dolphins could send picks 26, 70 to the Raiders for pick 19.

What if the Dolphins instead want to jump from 18 to 12? That would require a higher cost than the previously-mentioned deal at 19 and it would give Mayock the back-to-back option at 18 and 19 instead of the Dolphins.

The Miami Dolphins could send picks 18, 56 to the Raiders for pick 12.

And what if the Vikings, now the owners of picks 22 and 25, what to hop up past the Eagles for a receiver? It’s a small jump with a fairly good return to Vegas.

The Minnesota Vikings could send picks 22, 89 to the Raiders for pick 19.

How about the often-aggressive Baltimore Ravens at pick 28? The Raiders traded up from 75 to 65 in a deal with the Ravens in 2018 to acquire Brandon Parker. The move from 28 to 19 suggests a value of about 200 points, but Baltimore’s second rounder at 60 could be worth around 300 points. Vegas could include something to offset the value difference, which Mayock seems to enjoy doing already. His draft pick trades are as savvy as you’d expect from a person who was almost exclusively obsessed with the draft for multiple decades.

The Baltimore Ravens could send picks 28, 60 to the Raiders for picks 19, 91.

When the Tennessee Titans moved up for Harold Landry in the second round in 2018, they gave the Raiders a late third in return. The Titans now sit at pick 29 with a number of needs for their effort to “prove it” next season. The deal is similar as it is to the Ravens.

The Tennessee Titans could send picks 29, 61 to the Raiders for picks 19,91.

Therein you see the problem for the Titans and how teams end up “overpaying” for trades. What if the Ravens and Titans did both want the same player at pick 19? That’s where Mayock could call Tennessee and say, “Hey, you’ve got no way to make this deal because Baltimore is the same deal but a hair better. You’ve got to do better.”

The Titans come back with a new offer: Forget pick 91, give us back 121 instead. That’s not nothing, that’s 30 spots in the draft order and now a much better deal than what the Ravens were offering. Playing this out logically in your head without having to make all the back-and-forth steps in between, it’s not hard to see how this could end up being pick 19 for pick 28 and 60. Tennessee drops out of the race and people looking at the Jimmy Johnson chart go, “Hey, double-u-tee-eff?”

Not every draft pick trade can make sense on the same chart.

Of course, you could also start to combine some of these deals. What if the Raiders traded 12 for 18, 56, then traded 19 to the Vikings for 22 and 89? Mayock would have then traded pick 12 for picks 22, 56, and 89.

And if it were me, I’d also start looking for ways to swap 2020 draft value for 2021 draft value, when there may be less uncertainty about the future and a longer offseason for the rookies. If the Raiders did deal pick 12 and receive picks 22, 56, and 89, they could take a player at 18, then trade pick 22 for a 2021 first rounder and something else, like a late second rounder or third rounder. They’d still have a first round rookie, still have plenty of day two picks, and once again have multiple firsts for another year.

This isn’t all the possible trade down scenarios of course. Not even close. But it helps get the thoughts going of how those trades could happen and what they could look like on April 23rd.

Poll

Which would be the best return for pick 19?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    34, 75, 2021 5th
    (91 votes)
  • 18%
    43, 50
    (129 votes)
  • 3%
    21, 103
    (26 votes)
  • 10%
    23, 87
    (72 votes)
  • 24%
    26, 70
    (171 votes)
  • 17%
    22, 89
    (119 votes)
  • 12%
    28, 60 (Give up 91)
    (84 votes)
692 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which would be the best return for pick 12?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    17, 82
    (34 votes)
  • 16%
    21, 53
    (84 votes)
  • 12%
    23, 98, 100
    (63 votes)
  • 64%
    18, 56
    (324 votes)
505 votes total Vote Now