We previously looked at how the Las Vegas Raiders may be able to find a way back into the first round in next week’s NFL draft.
Admittedly, it wouldn’t be easy and it would cost a lot. The price tag would likely involve Las Vegas’s top pick (No. 86 in the third round) and probably next year’s first-round pick if the team wants to stay away from dealing players on the current roster.
So, after making the trade with Green Bay to send No. 22 in the first round and No. 53 in the second for All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams last month, it is likely the Raiders will sit out the first day of the draft, which will be held in their hometown of Las Vegas, April 28-30.
The only way the Raiders may trade up is if they watch the draft fall and see a player still on the board who they see as a major difference-maker for now and the future. If new Las Vegas general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels think there is a player on the board who could make the Raiders an instant Super Bowl contender, they could pull the trigger, especially knowing the 2023 first-round pick they’d give up would likely be a late-round choice.
Still, I think it would be difficult for the Raiders to jump past No. 20 and this isn’t considered a super deep draft in terms of impact players. So, let’s look at some of the choices the Raiders could consider if they’re on the board in the 20-32 range:
Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis:
I could see Davis being someone the Raiders are studying carefully. He’d look great on their defensive front, even though Las Vegas has remade its defensive tackle position, Still, Davis can be an anchor to the Raiders’ defensive front for years to come. He could be worth the price.
Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd:
Some teams are really high on Lloyd, who is a versatile linebacker. If the Raiders were to deem him or a fellow linebacker like Georgia’s Nakobe Dean as a difference maker in the middle of the defense, a trade up could be a reality.
Northern Iowa tackle Trevor Penning:
He might be available in the No. 24-27 range. If the Raiders were to think he’s the missing link at right tackle, the massive, tough Penning could be another trade-up target.
Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr.:
We know the previous Raiders’ regime loved their Clemson Tigers, but would this cornerback inspire the new Raiders’ brass to make a trade up at a position they have been closely studying. He has big potential and a recent injury could affect his draft stock unless where the Raiders think a trade up would be worth the price. Another trade-up possibility at cornerback could be Washington’s Trent McDuffie, but he could go off the board early.
There could be other possibilities as well. But, I think, unless something really crazy happens, the Raiders’ best bet may be to be satisfied with the Adams draft and make some trades in the mid rounds to enhance their current five-pick draft class. But you never know what’s going to happen when the draft starts. Ziegler and McDaniels will surely be on high alert.