NFL Draft: Why the Raiders Should Trade Down in the First Round


Jan 10, 2012; Alameda, CA, USA; Reggie McKenzie at press conference to announce his hiring as Oakland Raiders general manager at the Oakland Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders hold a valuable selection in the upcoming NFL Draft with the third overall pick in the entire draft. The Raiders have two options with the pick, they can either keep the pick and select a high end prospect or they can trade down in the draft and get multiple to increase the number of players they can bring especially in the early rounds. Despite there being no once in a generation prospects at the top end of the draft the Raiders should be able to pick up a decent bounty of picks if they choose to move down in the draft. Raiders’ General Manager Reggie McKenzie sits in a prime position to put pieces in place to help the Raiders succeed going forward.

The best choice for the Raiders would be to trade down from the third pick into mid or late part of the first and picking up more picks in the mid rounds. There are a multitude of reasons for the Raiders to move down in the draft, but the main reason for moving down is their lack of picks overall. The amount of holes on the Raiders roster is another to trade down and pick up more picks. Another reason to trade out of that spot is the lack of cannot miss talent at the top of the draft as the draft is deep with solid talent throughout the first round.

The key reason for trading down would be to amass a great number of picks, especially in the middle rounds to fill out the many holes they have in their roster. The Raiders only have a total of seven selections in the upcoming draft, including the one compensatory pick they were given by the NFL. They only only hold three picks inside the top 100 picks, compared to the San Francisco 49ers five selections inside the top 100. Moving down to the middle or end of the first round would allow the Raiders to ask for a package that include several mid round picks and possibly high round picks in next year’s draft which is considered to be even deeper than this year’s class. The picks added from the trade down would allow the Raiders to infuse young, potential talent in to their roster as they build for the future.

The Raiders should look to add more draft picks as means to fill the many holes they have left on their roster. Reggie McKenzie has done a relatively good job in free agency as he has added solid players to a depleted defense and adding Matt Flynn at quarterback and shedding Carson Palmer’s albatross of a contract. While adding many solid players in the off season many of the players will not be impact, all-pro type players. The draft will allow the Raiders to find players that have potential to become impact players for the next five to 10 years in their careers.

Trading down would allow the Raiders to get better value out of their first round pick as well. The 2013 class is a deep draft that is filled with solid talent, it just lacks the cannot miss type prospects in the previous years. The Raiders would be looking to potentially add to their defense, particularly along their defensive line and in the secondary. If the Raiders are able to move down to the middle of the first round it would put them in position to grab several great players. Along the defensive line they would look to Utah’s Star Lotulelei, who is falling for potential health concerns, and Missouri’s Sheldon Richardson. In the secondary, they Raiders would be interested in cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes from Florida State and Desmond Trufant from Washington and safety Kenny Vaccaro from Texas. Any of these players could provide the same impact to the Raiders’ defense as the player they could potentially select at number three.

Trading down is the best option for the Raiders’ General Manager Reggie McKenzie. It would provide him with the best way to quickly infuse the team with talent. The Raiders have a flawed roster with holes and lack of depth, but trading down and adding picks would allow them to add a large amount young, talented players to the team. Trading down also provided the Raiders with a way to maximize their value in the first round by adding an impact defensive player in the middle of the first round.