Should the Oakland Raiders Trade for LeSean McCoy?


ESPN writer Greg Garber ran a story this morning that has Oakland Raiders fans everywhere in debate; should the Raiders trade for LeSean McCoy?

The proposed trade: McCoy, Brandon Graham, 2015 second and fifth round picks to Oakland for their 2015 first round selection.

It certainly is an interesting proposal, to say the least. There are some obvious benefits that would come along with adding McCoy to the offense, but a trade like this is short-sighted and would hurt the Raiders in the long-term.

First, to address a few of those benefits. McCoy is arguably the best running back in the NFL and he would help the offense in many different ways. He is perhaps the shiftiest back in the league and can hurt you in the passing game as well. His presence would allow the Raiders’ offense to completely open up. Play-actions would be effective, Derek Carr would have a safety valve, and the Raiders would have that playmaker they so desperately need. But beyond a few seasons, the benefits would stop.

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  • McCoy is 26 years old now, and using the age of 30 as a soft-cap of sorts for running backs, that gives McCoy three or four more productive years. In this proposed trade, the Raiders are giving up their first round pick in the upcoming draft, which as of right now, would be the first overall selection.

    It’s no guarantee that selection pans out of course, but the potential to land a player who could be with the team for 10 or more years make the pick far too valuable to send away for McCoy and some throw-ins.

    Running back value has dropped significantly in recent years, as evident by the trends of the last couple of drafts. Spending big on or selecting a running back early is a luxury, and a luxury that the Raiders don’t have. There are several more positions of need that are more valuable and more pressing.

    Taking a look at the defense, there are holes at nearly every position. The front four has struggled mightily to create pressure and as of right now, I have the Raiders selecting Leonard Williams, defensive lineman from USC with the first overall selection. A player of Williams’ caliber can be a building block for the defense for many years to come. Much longer than McCoy.

    And that’s just one example. My favorite Oakland Raiders draft scenario currently involves trading down. Marcus Mariota by most accounts is the number one player in the draft, and there are several QB needy teams who will have draft picks.

    The Houston Texans, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans all could be looking for a QB in the top 10. A “Kings Ransom” could be had for Mariota; something similar to the Robert Griffin III trade. The Rams moved down from second to sixth, received two more first round picks (2013 and 2014) and a second round pick.

    This scenario would keep the Raiders drafting in the top 10 and it could also add two additional first round picks, two additional second or third rounds picks, or some combination of those. Oakland would still be able to draft a star player (Amari Cooper, Landon Collins, Randy Gregory are a few possibilities), and they would have a handful of extra high draft choices to build the roster.

    This trade is realistic as well, given that Mariota and Jameis Winston are likely the only first round talents at quarterback. Best-case scenario, this would create a bidding war for the services of Mariota.

    So either way, standing pat with the draft pick or trading it down for additonal picks, would be a much better route than trading for McCoy. If the Raiders were contenders, a trade like this could help put them over the top. But as a team on the rebuild, this one doesn’t make a lot of sense. Now if the Eagles wanted to send over McCoy for maybe a third round pick? Maybe we can talk.